KCR’s national foray: Ambiguity on expansion marks BRS inaugural

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, was expected to unveil the national agenda of the BRS but he told the gathering that this would be done soon.

Hyderabad: The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) made an impressive beginning as a national party with a mammoth public meeting in Telanagana’s Khammam on Wednesday but questions remain on how it plans to achieve its goal of expanding to states ruled by other opposition parties.

Sharing dais with Chief Ministers of three states and leaders of different parties, BRS President and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao made some promises the party would fulfill after coming to power at the Centre or by playing a key role in the formation of the next government.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, was expected to unveil the national agenda of the BRS but he told the gathering that this would be done soon. With focus on his slogan of ‘Ab ki baar kisan sarkar’, he gave a glimpse of the agenda and made certain promises.

While leaders from four states, including three Chief Ministers, heaped praise on KCR for taking the initiative of bringing together leaders of various opposition parties, there was no clarity if they are ready to work together. They were also silent on Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) turning into the BRS to expand its footprint in various states.

Political observers say while all the speakers were unanimous on the need for the opposition parties to work together to throw the BJP out of power, they were not clear how they plan to achieve the goal.

The absence of Janata Dal-Secular leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy at the BRS meeting also raised eyebrows in political circles as Karnataka is one of the first states where the BRS is planning to get a foothold.

Kumaraswamy was present at the TRS meeting in October last year when the party decided to rename itself as the BRS. He had also attended the inauguration of BRS national office in Delhi last month.

Assembly elections in Karnataka are scheduled in the next few months. BRS leaders have already made it clear that 2024 Lok Sabha elections are their target.

On several occasions, KCR spoke how some villages in the border areas of Karnataka and Maharashtra passing resolutions for merger with Telangana. He claimed that people in these villages want to avail benefits of welfare schemes being implemented by the Telangana government.

Political analysts say while the BRS may campaign for the JD-S in Assembly elections, it may want the latter to reciprocate with seat sharing in 2024 Lok Sabha polls. It is still not clear if the JD-S would agree to any such proposal.

Doubts also remain on how the BRS will expand its activities to states where non-BJP parties are in power. Early this month, the party announced its first state President for Andhra Pradesh.

KCR had announced that the BRS will launch its activities in 7-8 states after Sankranti. He said the party was ready to constitute state-level committees in Punjab, Haryana, Odisha, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.

Chief Ministers of Delhi, Punjab and Kerala had attended the inaugural meeting of BRS in Khammam. Samajwadi Party leader and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and CPI national Secretary D. Raja also addressed the meeting.

The speakers were unanimous in targeting the BJP government at the Centre and underlining the need for a collective effort to defeat BJP. However, they were not clear if they will work together and if yes how.

The BJP was quick to attack KCR on this contradiction at the Khammam meeting. “KejriwalA had said that the Aam Aadmi Party will come to power at the Centre and yesterday, KCR said the BRS will come to power at the Centre. Let them first decide which party they want to see in power,” taunted Telangana BJP President Bandi Sanjay Kumar.


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