Bowing down to negative feedback from the party cadres, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) on Monday has replaced J Santosh Kumar with T Harish Rao as one of the 20 leaders picked up as party’s ‘star campaigners’ for the April 11 Lok Sabha polls.
Disturbed with media reports that the party had submitted a 20-member list minus former minister T Harish Rao, several of party workers went and complained to the party leadership that his absence not only send wrong signals among the electorate, but also prove very ‘expensive’ to the party.
Sources close to KCR claim that some senior leaders argued that keeping out Harish Rao from the campaigning may as well confirm the ‘rift’ within the party as he enjoys considerable influence in several parts of north Telangana districts.
Accepting their argument, the party leadership immediately sent a request to the Chief Electoral Officer to replace T Harish Rao with Santosh Kumar. Other Star campaigners of the party list include; the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao, party working president K T Rama Rao, and senior ministers.
Added to that, adverse media too seems to have sent shivers down the spines of the party leaders to force make ‘course correction’.
Visibly upset Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao, directed the party general secretary M Srinivas Reddy to meet the CEO and request him to replace Santosh Kumar with T Harish Rao among the party’s poll campaigners list already submitted to his office.
Meanwhile, KCR had appealed to his party colleagues and cadres to stay focused to bag all the 16 Lok Sabha seats, burying differences any in the backyard for time being. “Don’t give room for any speculations in the media to blow up things. Stay focused on the winning polls instead indulge in scoring petty scores,” apparently is the strong message that KCR conveyed to all and sundry in the party.