For first time in two decades, no BRS MP in Lok Sabha

KCR himself won from Karimnagar and joined the Union Cabinet along with his party MP Ale Narendra.
With the BRS failing to win even one seat in the Lok Sabha elections, the Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad wore a deserted look on Tuesday
With the BRS failing to win even one seat in the Lok Sabha elections, the Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad wore a deserted look on Tuesday Photo | Sri Loganathan Velmurugan, EPS

HYDERABAD: For the first time since its inception, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (formerly TRS) will have no representation in the Lok Sabha. The party, which dominated Telangana politics for about two decades and ruled the state for almost a decade, has now been voted out of the Lok Sabha.

BRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao, who aspired to play a key role on the national stage, is now struggling to keep his party flock together in his own state. With no seats in the Lower House and only four members in the Rajya Sabha, there is little chance that KCR can think about national politics.

KCR formed the TRS in 2001 with the sole agenda of fighting for a separate Telangana state. Three years later, he joined the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) that was led by the Congress and contested the 2004 General Elections.

Entered Lower House for first time in 2004

The TRS, as it was named then, won all the five seats it contested — Warangal, Medak, Karimnagar, Hanamkonda and Adilabad — and entered the Lok Sabha for the first time. The TRS also bagged 6.83% of the vote share. KCR himself won from Karimnagar and joined the Union Cabinet along with his party MP Ale Narendra.

By the time the 2009 General Elections came, KCR had broken ranks with the UPA and formed his own alliance with the TDP, CPM and CPI. The TRS was reduced to only two seats — KCR winning from Mahbubnagar and Vijayashanti from Medak.

Just before the 2014 election, the UPA government announced the formation of Telangana state. At that time, the TRS not only swept the Assembly elections, but also performed well in the Lok Sabha. The TRS won 11 seats, its highest ever tally. However, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections saw the pink party seats being reduced to nine, despite the party comfortably winning the Assembly elections in December 2018, just six months earlier.

Change of name in 2022

In October 2022, KCR changed the name of the party from TRS to BRS to pursue his national political ambitions. He also announced that the BRS will field candidates in other states. However, a resurgent Congress trumped the BRS in the Assembly elections held in December 2023, derailing KCR’s plans.

By the time the 2024 Lok Sabha elections were announced, the BRS chief was struggling to keep his flock together and could not implement his plans of fielding candidates in other states.

Now that the BRS failed to win even a single Lok Sabha seat in the state and its vote share dropping to only 16.69%, the party faces a genuine existential crisis.

During the two decades it represented the people of Telangana in the Lok Sabha, the BRS played a key role in the passage of crucial Bills.

Ground-level leadership vacuum

Experts believe that several factors contributed to the poor performance of the BRS. After losing the Assembly elections, many leaders, including MLAs and MPs, shifted their allegiances to the BJP and the Congress. This resulted in a leadership vacuum within the BRS at the ground level, leaving activists without adequate moral support.

Additionally, during the candidate selection process, many leaders showed a lack of interest in contesting the polls. Moreover, it is believed that in an attempt to defeat the Congress candidates in several constituencies, the second-rung leadership of the BRS instructed their activists to ensure that people voted for the BJP. Key party leaders allegedly did not work sincerely for the victory of their own candidates

Candidates who lost their deposits

According to the Representation of People Act, 1951, any candidate who fails to secure one-sixth of the total votes polled in the constituency will have to forfeit his/her/their security deposit, which, in this case, was Rs 25,000. The BRS candidates who lost their deposits are:

  • T Padma Rao (Secunderabad)

  • Gaddam Srinivas Yadav (Hyd)

  • Bajireddy Govardhan (N’bad)

  • Kasani Gnaneshwar (Chevella)

  • Manne Srinivas Reddy (Mahbubnagar)

  • Atram Sakku (Adilabad)

  • Anil Kumar Gali (Zaheerabad)

  • Ragidi Laxma Reddy (Malkajgiri)

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