Gajwel is warming up. TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao is looking for re-election. And the man responsible for delivering it to the TRS supremo is Harish Rao — his nephew, a cabinet minister in the caretaker government and the party’s point man. There are ten Assembly constituencies in erstwhile Medak district, but it is Gajwel that commands the most attention. In 2014, Gajwel was a three-way fight — between TRS’ Chandrasekhar Rao, TDP’s V Pratap Reddy and Congress’ Narsa Reddy. But now, with the formation of a ‘Grand Alliance’, the fight is now between TRS and the combined strength of both Congress and TDP. With the presence of such opposition, the party has entrusted with Harish Rao the unenviable job of ‘guaranteeing’ KCR’s success.
But recently, at Gajwel, his party received a setback when Narsa Reddy, Congress’ 2014 candidate who joined the party and served as Road Development Corporation Chairman, announced his homecoming to Congress. TDP’s Pratap Reddy, who is expected to be the grand alliance candidate for Gajwel, received a shot in the arm with Narsa Reddy joining hands with him.
On all accounts, it hasn’t been a smooth ride for TRS’ campaign at Gajwel. Opposition parties have begun using a surprising technique to undermine Harish Rao’s position in his own party.V Pratap Reddy had recently questioned Rao’s loyalty to TRS. He said Rao was in touch with Congress president Rahul Gandhi and could join the party soon. Another TDP leader, Revuri Prakash Reddy, went a step further and predicted that in the event of grand alliance and TRS getting the same number of seats, Harish would lead a breakaway faction from TRS and take Congress’ support to form the government.These statements have fuelled the rumour mills about Rao’s purported struggle for power with his cousin and KCR’s son KT Rama Rao. On his part, Harish Rao has slammed both men for the claims and even told them, “I will cut of the tongues of Opposition leaders who are leading ‘Goebbels campaigns’.”The oustees
But Harish Rao’s biggest challenge will perhaps be oustees of villages who were displaced by Konda Pochamma reservoir. TRS leaders, including Rao himself, have not visited these villages where an unmistakable anger towards TRS exists.Congress and TDP leaders have used the examples of these villagers throughout the constituency. Opposition leaders are also questioned the ruling party on various other issues such as the failure to build double bedroom houses and rising unemployment in the State.Apart from regular meetings, on the strategic side of things, In a few weeks, the State will find out if Harish Rao can truly score a win for his uncle K Chandrasekhar Rao. And such a win will only boost Harish’s image as TRS’ trouble-shooter