When Etela made his famous outburst against KCR and said that his ministership was not at the mercy of anyone, one thought KCR would act against him. One expected Etela to be thrown out of the ministry and the party. But, KCR reacted differently.
The first thing he did was to expand the cabinet and give his estranged nephew Harish Rao a place in it . Harish Rao had for over a year fallen out of KCR's favour. KCR's media mouthpieces have completely blocked the coverage of Harish. Harish was not part of the key meetings and was kept out of major decisions. KTR was promoted instead. What more, Harish Rao was confined to Siddipet alone. He was divested of the charge of KCR's constituency of Gajwel ever since Vanteru Pratap Reddy joined the TRS. But, suddenly Harish was not just taken into the ministry but was also given the all-important post of the finance minister.
Sources say that KCR felt that if Etela and his supporters join hands with Harish Rao, they could pose bigger threat to him. Secondly, he was afraid that the BJP could lure both of them into the party. If that happens, that would be a bigger threat for him. Thirdly, loss of Karimnagar and Nizamabad have exposed the weakness of KTR's leadership, while Medak and Siddipet, whose campaign was in Harish Rao's hands, were handsomely won. All these have forced KCR to realise that Harish Rao outside the cabinet is more dangerous than Harish Rao being inside.