Is Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao a Bal Thackeray in the making? There are more than one similarity between the CM of India's youngest state and the late Shiv Sena patriarch and the question of succession in the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is something that has kept political observers interested. Will Telangana go Maharashtra's way?
Like Bal Thackeray, will KCR also face a tough question on succession?
KCR, who is seen as a leader who stresses regional identity and displays an inclination to turn it into a mass movement just like the late Sena patriarch, also has a son and a nephew which means there could be a Shiv Sena-like possibility in the future over the succession in the TRS. Reports about KCR's health make the question even more pertinent.
US-returned son & grassroots leader nephew
Just like Uddhav and Raj Thackeray, Bal Thackeray's son and the nephew, respectively, KCR too has a similar problem in hand. His US-returned son KT Rama Rao (KTR) stands in contrast to his nephew Harish Rao, who is more of a grassroots leader and has been with his uncle since early days of the movement.
So if indeed is KCR not in the best of health, who will be next to take up the baton?
KCR's health was a political issue before the formation of Telangana but once it was formed, thanks to the cornered Congress's hopeless moves, the issue was not more addressed with the same intensity.
Is nephew Harish Rao getting sidelined?
But last month, when the media focused Harish Rao seating at the back of the TRS's plenary session, speculations became rife. Is a Uddhav versus Raj-like tussle brewing?
Harish's name was also missing in the arrangement committees to organise a public meeting in Secundeabad on April 27, which is quite surprising given the man's stature as a leader close to the grounds and even local news reports started playing the issue on a big scale.
The chief minister though tried his best to end all the speculation and praised Harish Rao's work as the state's irrigation minister (both KTR, 39, and Harish Rao, 43, are ministers in KCR's cabinet) but not all are convinced yet.
Bal Thackeray preferred son Uddhav over nephew Raj
In case of the Thackerays, too, it was Uddhav who got the final backing from his father as the future leader of the party and not Raj who was seen more as a leader in his uncle's mold. An upset Raj Thackeray left the Shiv Sena and formed his own Maharashtra Navnirman Sena but it hurt both the parties in the days to come. KCR could also face a similar challenge in future but does he have it in him to take a decision that parents in India don't prefer?