Warangal: Srihari-Rajaiah rivalry to fore again?
Notwithstanding the ceasefire between the two former Deputy Chief Ministers Kadiyam Srihari and Thatikonda Rajaiah forged by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leadership in the run up to Assembly elections last year, the jostle for one-upmanship in the Station Ghanpur Assembly constituency appears to be apparent with the way the politics is taking shape.
Warangal: Notwithstanding the ceasefire between the two former Deputy Chief Ministers Kadiyam Srihari and Thatikonda Rajaiah forged by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leadership in the run up to Assembly elections last year, the jostle for one-upmanship in the Station Ghanpur Assembly constituency appears to be apparent with the way the politics is taking shape.
A couple of days ago, Srihari had announced that he was undertaking a trip to Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) along with party activists from Station Ghanpur on September 4 to herald the efforts of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, the brainchild behind the KLIP. Following this, Rajaiah had not only announced a similar trip but also left for Kaleshwaram along with 3,000 odd cadres from all over 144 gram panchayats on Sunday.
"It's seen as a political showdown within the TRS party. It also indicates that one-upmanship between the two leaders is still there, carrying their old rivalry," a senior TRS leader told The Hans India.
The rivalry between the two leaders dates back to 2004. Srihari, who won the seat in 1994 and 1999, lost twice thereafter in 2004 and 2009 on TDP ticket to Gunde Vijayarama Rao (then in TRS) and Thatikonda Rajaiah (then in Congress). Thereafter, Rajaiah continued his invincibility in the constituency by winning 2012 by-poll (as TRS candidate), 2014 and 2018. Rajaiah defeated Srihari twice in 2009 and 2012 by-poll. The rivalry between the duos was understandable.
However, since Srihari also embracing the TRS before the 2014 General Elections, it appeared curtains for their rivalry. While Srihari was elected to Lok Sabha, Rajaiah went on to become the first Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana. However, in a dramatic change of fortunes, Rajaiah was stripped of his portfolio and Srihari making it to the post in 2015.
The rivalry came to fore again ahead of 2018 Assembly elections with a section of TRS cadres demanding Station Ghanpur ticket for Srihari another for retaining Rajaiah. With the intervention of KT Rama Rao, the issue was put to rest, and subsequently Rajaiah won the election. Srihari didn't get ministry after TRS retained power in 2018 elections.
With the Cabinet expansion is around the corner, it's speculated that Srihari, who didn't get ministry after TRS retained power in 2018 elections, was trying to catch the attention of the party leadership by organising party's image building activities.
It's also learnt that in the recent panchayat, mandal and zilla praja parishad, Rajaiah gave tickets to his followers, ignoring the leaders owing allegiance to Srihari. It also aggravated the rivalry between the two leaders, it's learnt. Rajaiah's Kaleshwaram trip along with his supporters ahead of Srihari's programme is also seen in the similar vein, a TRS leader said, stating that fire is still smouldering under the ashes.