Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) may be tight-lipped about whatever political move he undertakes but the KTR-CM chorus among his party officials is only becoming louder by the day.
As a result, analysts are finding it really difficult to break his code but joining the dots only signifies that the leader is now only eyeing on Delhi and planning to become an imminent part of the national politics.
His Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) may have retained power in the Hyderabad municipal elections, last year, but seeing emerging dominance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was able to secure 48 seats beyond expectations, KCR immediately made a secret trip to Delhi and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and a couple of other ministers. What was the agenda? The government, as usual, did not break much ice with anyone.
Whether or not a mutual understanding is cooking is still yet to be known, but a friendship between TRS and BJP can't ignore the slice of convenience, which is only possible while being pally at the national level.
TRS camp in national capital
According to TribuneIndia reports, KCR's party has been allotted some 1,100 square metres of land in Vasant Vihar, a posh locality in South Delhi, to build an office.
In November last year, the party announced that the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs handed them the papers for the land and a foundation would be laid soon.
Despite being a regional party, TRS has representation in Parliament through the presence of its members in both houses. At present, the Lok Sabha has nine lawmakers belonging to KCR's party while the Rajya Sabha has seven members.
Modi needs KCR more than ever
TRS' non-participation in 2018's vote on the no-confidence motion and the 20 minutes speech of party MP B Vinod Kumar, being very mildly critical of the Modi government, was a game-changer deciding the future course of KCR.
Analysts are however unclear with which side he would join, but latest indications foretell that KCR will obviously side with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Centre. Modi himself has also acknowledged KCR many times and hinted how they were on the same pedestal by praising the state's development post it's bifurcation from Andhra Pradesh in 2014.
In fact, much of his intervention concentrated on seeking additional assistance from the union government for various projects and showcasing the achievements of his governance in the state. In recent times, KCR and his ministers have outrightly supported the ongoing farmers' protest. It was also reportedly expected that he would pay a visit to the agitating farmers on Delhi borders but that did not happen, denoting a tactical shift in his policies.
Is KTR handing over reins?
KT Rama Rao's rise in Telangana is not only a long-discussed issue but also an implicative move by his father.
Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly and senior party leader T Padma Rao Goud said on Friday that KCR's son will soon be sworn in as the next Chief Minister.
Goud exclusively told News18 that the development will take place in a very short time.
"KTR has the ability to become Chief Minister and he will become the CM of Telangana in a short while," Goud said, however, refusing to divulge the exact date of the swearing-in. While another senior leader from Telangana Cabinet divulged that it may probably happen next month.
It has been reported that the decision of succession and Rama Rao being quite capable of successfully steering the state as the next chief minister has been widely opposed, especially by the old leadership of the party, who still favour KCR's continuation as Chief Minister.
But the TRS supremo seems confident of his decision and transferring reins of the state to his 44-year-old US-educated lad and focus on national politics. A segment of his party believes that KCR is the only leader who can stop BJP's rise in the state and also ensure victory in the 2023 polls, reports have said.