TRS to turn into national party? What we know so far

Hyderabad: Will Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) transform the existing TRS into the BRS, or Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi? That question is on the minds of many ever since he dropped hints of doing that during the party’s plenary last month. Whle there is no official word on it yet, sources from the TRS said that the move is likely to happen.

A TRS source said that KCR is likely to rebrand the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) into the BRS soon. Another party source told this reporter that an announcement can be expected around Dussera this year. KCR may unveil a new logo and will give more details on it, the source added.

“We are 100% going to change the name and identity of the TRS. Same party, same symbol, but different name,” stated the source. Aside from him constantly attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government and the Congress (the main opposition in Telangana), chief minister KCR has also always talked about bringing ‘qualitative change’ in the country.

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“We have seen two elections with Modi and Rahul Gandhi. Stalin, Mamata Banerjee, Tejashwi, Akhilesh Yadav etc are all anti Modi. They are all fed up of Rahul Gandhi also. So a consortium of like-minded people is what KCR said we need. If this happens, they won’t need to join us, and can still run their outfits,” stated the TRS source.

It has also been learnt that TRS leaders have reached out to some legiislators in other states as part of this initiative.

However, political analysts have said that if at all KCR really changes the TRS into a national party, it will in all likelihood fail. ”He is going to face some trouble in Telangana itself in the next election. It will be very easy for the opposition to spread the narrative that he has abandoned his state. It will be a bad move,” remarked an analyst, who did not want to be quoted.

KCR had dropped hints of turning he TRS into Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi (BRS), during the TRS’s plenary held last month. The Telangana chief minister said that he had received suggestions from leaders to do the same, in order to float an all-India party. This statement of his took many by surprise at the event, where he also said that forming a new or alternative front to counter the BJP isn’t his plan.

Moreover, it is also to be noted that KCR in the past said he would form a non-Congress and non-BJP front before the 2019 general elections. He even met his contemporaries like West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, Samajwadi Party head Akhilesh Yadav and others in the past.

However, it came to nothing, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Party (NDA) came to power on its own by winning over 300 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 polls.b

As of now, the TRS sits comfortably in the Telangana Assembly, where it has over 100 (out of 119) MLAs. KCR won the 2014 polls with 63 seats (after which many opposition MLAs defected to the ruling party), and the 2018 state polls with a thumping number of 88, while the main opposition Congress won just 19. Post that, 12 Congress MLAs, and a few other opposition MLAs, have since defected to the TRS.

However, the TRS has also suffered some electoral setbacks. It lost the Dubbaka by-election in 2020 and the Huzurabad by-election in 2021 to the BJP. The Huzurabad bypoll was a big loss, as it was a fight between the ruling TRS and former TRS health minister Eatala Rajender, who was sacked from the state cabinet by chief minister KCR over land-grabbing charges in May last year.

Eatala resigned as an MLA and then joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in June this year. For the bypoll, KCR even announced the launch of the Dalit Bandhu scheme, under which eligible beneficiaries get Rs. 10 lakh. The ruling party’s candidate, Gellu Srinivas Yadav, a Backward Classes (BC) leader, also shows that KCR does not want to upset the BC community which comprises over 50% of the state’s population (Eatala also belongs to it).

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