A warm hug to an affectionate old woman, a tight handshake with a CXO just the same for KTR

Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao endears himself to the rural folks as also the corporate honchos in their three-piece tuxedo alike

A warm hug to an affectionate old woman, a tight handshake with a CXO just the same for KTR

HYDERABAD: Amid hectic schedule of signing deals with large corporates and attracting huge investments into Telangana from the UK and the USA, sandwiched by a quick visit back home to lay the foundation stone for the prestigious Foxconn manufacturing unit, Telangana minister K T Rama Rao doesn’t lose sight on people and their needs in the State.

Alerting his team to take care of a five-month-old Imad Ahmed, who is suffering from chronic liver disease, is as important for KTR as signing an MoU for a Rs. 3,000-crore investment by Medtoric.

Walking the high street of Broadway in New York City and on the lanes of Vemulawada to meet people just don’t make any difference for the young minister. The USA is indeed a land of opportunities. However, KTR scouts for a different opportunity – to attract large corporations to invest in Telangana.

Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao endears himself to the rural folks as also the corporate honchos in their three-piece tuxedo alike.

As the Minister for Industry and Information Technology in Telangana, KTR has worked hard to drive investments into the State. As a result, the IT exports of Telangana grew from Rs 57,000 crores in 2014-15 to Rs 1.8 lakh crores in 2021-22 and over Rs. 2.20 lakh crore in FY2023.

He speaks the language of the masses with ease and throws corporate lingo with the tycoons in the same breath. As a leader, his first victory was the 2016 GHMC elections where the TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) won 99 wards and scored a resounding victory. As a reward, he was made the Municipal Administration and Urban Development minister in Telangana.

As the working president of the TRS (now BRS), his connect with his party leaders and the people of the state has grown from strength to strength. He grew from a politician to a leader and a master strategist for the party and became a reason for the success of the party at every opportunity. He picked up the ropes of an astute politician and has shown that he can accept victory and defeat alike. The way he mingles with the rural population (youngsters, youth, farmers, labor and elders) has helped him carve a niche for himself.

KTR is a unique politician in the sense that he is now the face of the most sought after investment destination, Telangana. He is a regular invitee at the prestigious World Economic Forum at Davos.

Beginning with John Chambers of Cisco to Tim Cook of Apple, KTR rubs shoulders with corporate honchos who rule the global IT world and business. Automobile tzar in India, Anand Mahindra expressed on multiple occasions, through his tweets, how fond he is of KTR. Tech Mahindra's CEO CP Gurnani enjoys an excellent chemistry with KTR.

KTR can quickly transform himself into a mass leader in the same breath, making an impressive appeal among his target audience of rural Telangana. The resounding victory of the TRS in all the Zilla Parishad elections and municipal elections in the state stand testimony to the alacrity with which he can gel with the masses.

Some visuals – from an affectionate hug to an octogenarian woman to cuddling up with a toddler in a remote village he toured – and many photographs of this ilk remained indelible in the minds of people of Telangana. KTR is liked by politicians, cutting across party lines. A minute before cutting the inaugural ribbon for Hyderabad Metro rail in December 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suddenly asked “Where is Ram?” and waited until KTR walked up to stand by his side before formally inaugurating the metro.

It is politician KTR who is entrusted with handling disgruntled elements within the party and placating them to fall in line. His benevolent demeanor and warmth have always perched him many cuts above the rest within and outside the TRS.

The tech savvy KTR is one of the fastest leaders to respond to any help sought by those in distress. He has a dedicated team to attend to the medical needs of the asking and other support – be it paying off college fees or supporting the specially abled, with implements that can keep them going.

His focus as an industries minister is envied by his peers among the state cabinet as well as those in the neighboring states. For instance, his spellbinding capabilities were lauded by the erstwhile IT minister of Andhra Pradesh, the late Gautham Reddy and the present IT minister Gudivada Amarnath alike. Tamil Nadu former finance minister and present IT minister P.Thiaga Rajan showered encomiums on KTR’s steadfastness in discharge of his duties

By ensuring that he stayed away from the large shadow cast by his father and towering personality KCR, the Minister proved his capabilities stand alone.

However, he makes sure he operates well within the contours drawn by the party ideologue and supremo KCR.

Be it attracting investments, showering affection, caring for the suffering or joining a celebration with the youth, KTR proved that he is a man for all seasons.

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