Troubling questions echo in BRS corridors

Party leaders are questioning why no post-election review meeting has been conducted to address the Lok Sabha results.
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Representational image

HYDERABAD: After losing the Assembly elections and suffering a complete rout in the Lok Sabha polls where the party failed to secure a single seat, some troubling questions are being heard in BRS circles. While these questions are still not directly posed to the party leadership, they remain valid, and pointed.

Loyal party workers — both leaders and activists — are asking who will take responsibility for the electoral losses and why no reviews of the Lok Sabha results have been conducted, despite the extensive campaigning by party president and former chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

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

Leaders loyal to the party are genuinely concerned about its poor performance in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections where the vote share fell below 20% and many votes shifted to the BJP. This shift of votes has dented the confidence of the party workers and raised doubts about its future.

These workers are now discussing among themselves about the party’s survival and how BRS MLAs can implement development works in their constituencies in the current political climate, where both the BJP and Congress have secured eight Lok Sabha seats each.

On Thursday, four party MLAs—Ch Malla Reddy, M Rajasekhar Reddy, D Sudheer Reddy and B Laxma Reddy—met with KCR. This meeting has sparked interest and speculation about why other MLAs were not summoned by the party supremo and whether the discussions were about development or if the visit to KCR’s farmhouse was a courtesy call.

Within the BRS, there is speculation that some MLAs might be planning to join the BJP or the Congress. If this happens, it would be a major blow to the BRS, to the extent of threatening the party’s existence.

Party leaders are questioning why no post-election review meeting has been conducted to address the Lok Sabha results. There are concerns that responsibilities were given to former MLAs who lost elections by huge margins, which demotivated ground-level leaders during the Lok Sabha elections.

Leaders are also questioning why, despite having strong support in Assembly segments like Secunderabad and Malkajgiri, the party failed to retain deposits in these constituencies. There is frustration that KT Rama Rao, the former minister and working president, has not convened meetings with MLAs to identify faults and address the issues.

The shifting of votes to the BJP is causing anxiety about future urban and local body elections. With the BJP gaining strength, there is a concern that the saffron party’s newly-elected MPs will focus on upcoming elections and solidify its position as the prime opposition.

Former MLAs and some sitting MLAs pointed out the lack of direct contact with the BRS chief to understand ground realities and the need for revitalisation of the party with new faces.

Additionally, the ruling Congress is rumoured to be planning “Operation Akarsh,” to merge the BRS Legislative Party (BRSLP) into its fold. This could severely damage BRS’ chances of recovery ahead of the next elections.

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The New Indian Express