KCR needs to keep cadre morale high

If the Congress has its way, as its leaders openly claim, the BRS could lose 20 MLAs.
Former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao
Former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao(File photo)

The elections may be over, but politics in Telangana continues with the same momentum. The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) is facing a pincer attack from the ruling Congress and the BJP. Though it is the main opposition in the assembly, the BRS drew a blank in the Lok Sabha polls, even losing deposit in eight constituencies. In this backdrop, a number of its legislators are veering towards the Congress and the BJP to survive the next five years. It’s an irony of fate that the BRS now finds itself in more or less the same position as the Congress did after the 2014 and 2019 elections in the state.

But the Congress, despite losing leaders, had the advantage of being an old institution engraved in the public psyche and had been the main opposition by default. The BRS, on the other hand, has been around for a little over two decades and has to contend with a resurgent BJP too. It may not be able to hold on to some legislators who are under the scanner of central agencies. A few state council members, too, are said to be headed the same way. If the Congress has its way, as its leaders openly claim, the BRS could lose 20 MLAs.

In the Rajya Sabha, the party has already lost one of its five members to the Congress. With little representation in parliament and its numbers likely to come down in the state assembly and council, the BRS has only one option left—to be among the people and keep its cadre intact. It is easier said, as the saffron party, after doubling its state Lok Sabha count from four to eight, has set its sights on 88 seats in the next assembly. It is also looking at appointing a state chief who can wean away backward caste leaders and cadre from the BRS.

A parallel could be drawn between BRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu. After 2019, Naidu was isolated on all sides. But he was able to bounce back by keeping the morale of his cadre high. Can KCR do a Naidu? For that, he needs to take up public causes and get rid of the tag of a family party. Otherwise, fighting a two-front war is not going to be easy.

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The New Indian Express