Sources told TNM that a few names for the national party have been shortlisted and that a final decision is being taken about the official announcement of Telangana CM KCR’s foray into national politics.

A collage of KCR and the Red Fort in the background
news Politics Tuesday, June 14, 2022 - 12:54

While Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, popularly known as KCR, has been locking horns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, he has been preparing ground for something bigger. Though not officially announced yet, his party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), will soon be rechristened BRS (Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi) and launched as a national party. While KCR is busy chalking out his strategies and plans, TNM delves into the motives behind his decision.

While some call the move a handiwork of election strategist Prashant Kishor, others believe the move will make KCR the first person from south India after NT Rama Rao (NTR), founder of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and former CM of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, to actually take a step towards national ambitions. P Pavan, a political analyst, told TNM, “Though NTR tried launching a national party – the Bharata Desam party – it did not see the light of the day. Later, Chandrababu Naidu got the TDP registered as a national party but never had his eyes on the PM’s seat. He himself turned down the offer not once but twice.”

“KCR’s decision to float a national party makes him the first CM from south India to eye national politics after NTR. Political compulsions led to PV Narasimha Rao and HD Devegowda emerging as leaders from the south,” added Pavan.

A highly placed source in the TRS told TNM that the name of the party is still under consideration and hasn’t been finalised yet. The source also revealed that the party plans to make it official before the BJP Executive meeting, scheduled to take place in Hyderabad on July 2 and 3. TNM has learnt that the names under consideration are Nava Bharat Party, Jai Bharat and Bharat Rashtra Samithi. Though the name is to be changed, the party flag along with its trademark pink colour is here to remain. The Telangana map on the party flag may be replaced with an Indian flag or an image of Bharat Mata, or a combination of both.

Speaking to TNM, a political analyst and strategist, who requested anonymity, said that KCR’s entry into national politics was in fact all about state politics. “When a leader from a state projects himself as a national leader, it is basically to appeal to the state pride. What KCR wants to tell the people of Telangana is that a state leader has national ambitions, and invoke Telangana pride. This, KCR believes, will help him electorally in his state.”

The strategist does not believe that KCR has any real plan to contest elections in other states, that this is all posturing. “Remember in 2014, Jayalalithaa projected herself as a national leader… it helps in elevating their image. By projecting himself as a national leader, KCR also positions the BJP as his arch enemy. The Congress has anyway been out of power for two terms at the Centre and in the state too, so there is nothing to criticise them on. So, by placing himself on the national pedestal, his attack on PM Modi and the BJP can be justified as they can then be positioned as his primary enemy.”

The Telangana model

While KCR’s national political move is being discussed in detail, the main plank will be the projection of the Telangana model. It is no secret that the Telangana government has pumped in crores of money to highlight what it calls a “successful Telangana model” on national television channels and newspapers. It is this Telangana model that KCR will promise to implement across the country as a national leader.

Pavan believes that the national plan is also aimed at paving the way for KCR’s son, KT Rama Rao, to take over the reins in the state.

“KCR’s BRS plan is the only respectable way for him to exit state politics and facilitate his son’s taking over the reins in Telangana. He may contest for Parliament and his position in terms of power-sharing would depend on the result of the 2024 general elections,” Pavan added.

KCR gets a thumbs up from diaspora

NRI supporters of the TRS and KCR around the world adopted a unanimous resolution on Sunday, June 12, to endorse KCR’s decision to foray into national politics. The resolution, moved by Telangana NRI Coordinator B Ganesh, comes as a prelude to KCR’s decision to launch the BRS. In the meeting conducted over Zoom, representatives were all praise for KCR, conveying that they believe that India’s development will be possible only under his leadership.

“Telangana is heading fast towards growth and on the same lines, KCR can bring a qualitative change in the country. His leadership is imperative to lead India towards development. They said that India is the land of natural resources but successive governments have failed to utilise these resources to achieve developmental goals. The Union government has no agenda to discuss in Parliament except for raking up religious issues,” said a representative of the diaspora who participated in the meeting.

It was announced in the meeting that KCR is likely to hold a state Executive meeting on June 19 to officially declare his decision to enter national politics. It was decided that the NRIs will start a campaign to educate the Indian diaspora in different countries about the growth and development happening in Telangana.

Anil Kurmachalam from the UK said, “India has registered low growth in the BJP regime. KCR has set things right in just 7 years in Telangana, which was completely destroyed when it was part of Andhra Pradesh. I hope India will progress soon just like Telangana, which evolved into Bangaru Telangana (Golden Telangana) during KCR’s regime.”

Rajesh, an NRI from Sydney in Australia, revealed that NRIs had appealed to KCR to enter national politics four years ago. He also declared that his NRI wing will extend all support to KCR’s new political journey.

The meeting also had representatives from South Africa, Kuwait, Qatar, Switzerland, Germany, Oman, Bahrain, Singapore, Canada, China and others. As KCR prepares to take the national plunge hoping to become a symbol of Telangana pride, all eyes are now on him to find out how his grand plan unfolds.

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