BRS lacks a solid organisational structure to stave off challenges

The major challenge for the BRS leadership is to maintain its flock, particularly ground-level leaders and senior members, who did not reap the benefits of power during the party’s rule.
Representational image of BRS party logo
Representational image of BRS party logoFile Photo

HYDERABAD: The Bharat Rashtra Samithi, which lost power in the last Assembly elections, is now facing questions about its very existence and relevance. The party, which had ruled Telangana for nearly a decade from June 2014 to December 2023, is struggling to retain its support base which is dwindling.

The major challenge for the BRS leadership is to maintain its flock, particularly ground-level leaders and senior members, who did not reap the benefits of power during the party’s rule. The Lok Sabha elections are critical; failure to secure a reasonable number of seats may further jeopardise the party’s future.

The BRS, which emerged from the movement for a separate Telangana state in 2001, played a key role as an Opposition party in undivided Andhra Pradesh. Post-bifurcation, it went on to form the government for two successive terms and play a dominant role in Telangana politics. However, unlike the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the pink party did not focus on building a robust organisational structure, which is now a pressing need as it fights for survival.

No decision-making body

Sources said the BRS leadership is considering reorganising the party setup from the state-level to the grassroots level to rejuvenate the cadre. This reorganisation is being seen as an essential move to strengthen the party, which, unlike the well-structured TDP, lacks a strong political decision-making body like a politburo or a political affairs committee.

The BRS faced numerous challenges in undivided Andhra Pradesh, including defections to the Congress and stiff resistance to its fight for statehood. However, after gaining power, the party leadership failed to build a strong organisational framework. Critics within the party setup demand a revamp of the district leadership and a more active engagement of original BRS members who have been sidelined.

In contrast, the TDP’s robust organisational structure has allowed it to sustain itself through various crises. Its experienced politburo and strong frontal organisations like the TNSF, Telugu Mahila and Rythu Sangam have been crucial to its resilience. BRS, on the other hand, has committees that are not as active. This is hampering its ability to launch campaigns and take up party activities effectively.

BRS sources acknowledge the strength and strategic acumen of their leadership but admit that these strengths have not been effectively communicated to the grassroots level. They express concern that the grand old party could launch ‘Operation Akarsh’ and even try to merge the BRS Legislature Party with its Congress counterpart. Such a move could demoralise the cadre and further destabilise the party.

To allay these fears and counter these challenges, senior BRS leaders are calling for a comprehensive reorganisation of the party structure. They stress the need to engage original party members and younger leaders. They believe that focusing on building a strong organisational base and actively involving second-level and booth-level leaders is crucial for the party’s survival and future success.

The migration of leaders, particularly parachute candidates who joined the party close to the elections, is another major issue. These leaders are seen as having benefited disproportionately from the party’s power, causing resentment among original members. This dynamic is believed to have contributed to the poor performance of the BRS in the 2023 Assembly polls.

The expectation is that BRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao will prioritise reorganisation efforts and promote dedicated workers and young leaders to revitalise the party. If these steps are not taken, the BRS risks further erosion of its support base and diminished prospects in future elections.

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The New Indian Express