HYDERABAD: Finance minister T Harish Rao, who has been confined to his own constituency all these years, once again came to the limelight with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) witnessing some internal strife in recent times. After the ouster of Etala Rajender from the state Cabinet has become a topic of heated discussion in political circles, party supremo and his uncle K Chandrashekar Rao sought his help in settling the issue, it is learnt.
Harish, often referred to as a 'trouble-shooter' in the TRS, was the only minister to accompany Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to Gandhi Hospital on Wednesday. Normally, city ministers Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Mohd Mahmood Ali, local TRS MLAs and leaders accompany the Chief Minister whenever he participates in any programme in the city.
After Chandrashekar Rao took over the health portfolio from Etala early this month, Harish has been handling the health ministry on the directions of the Chief Minister. Harish participated in Covid review meetings conducted by the Centre with state health ministers recently via video conference. Harish also chaired Covid review meeting with chief secretary Somesh Kumar and senior health officials.
On the party front, Chandrashekar Rao has appointed him as in-charge for Rajender’s Huzurabad Assembly constituency along with former MP B Vinod Kumar. Harish was mostly confined to his home constituency Siddipet all these years but his sudden elevation in the party and the government after Rajender’s ouster is making Harish’s supporters upbeat and it also fuelled the debate that the party is relying yet again on 'trouble-shooter' to handle Covid crisis at government level and set right things in Huzurabad at party-level.
Harish played a key role in the TRS since its inception in 2001. However, his supporters believe that he was side-lined after the TRS came to power in 2014 to project KT Rama Rao as the successor of Chandrashekar Rao.
Rama Rao got all the prominence in the government as well as in the party. All election responsibilities were handed over to Rama Rao and Harish was kept away even from the city for the most part of the past six years.
However, the changed political equations in the wake of Rajender's ouster from the Cabinet has brought Harish back to focus in the party and the government.