With losses in Assembly, LS polls, BRS faces uphill task to bounce back

File: BRS issues 51 B forms to candidates for Telangana assembly polls, releases party manifesto
File: BRS issues 51 B forms to candidates for Telangana assembly polls, releases party manifesto

Hyderabad | Once an unbeatable force in Telangana, the K Chandrasekhar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) now finds itself faced with a major challenge as it drew a blank in the Lok Sabha elections.

The dismal performance has come like a double whammy to the party as it suffered a shock defeat in last year's Assembly elections.

BRS (then TRS) had won nine seats and secured a vote share of 41.71 per cent in the 2019 Parliamentary elections. The party's vote share declined to less than 17 per cent in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls.

BJP's vote share in the state in the 2019 polls was 19.45 per cent, but it secured an impressive 35.08 per cent vote share in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

BJP had won four of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, but improved its tally to eight now.

The vote share of the Congress was 29.49 per cent in 2019 and the grand old party obtained 40.10 per cent votes now. Congress had won three LS seats in 2019 but won eight this time.

BRS had witnessed migration of some of its leaders either to the ruling Congress or BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

BRS MLAs Danam Nagender and Kadiam Srihari joined the Congress, while its sitting MPs G Ranjit Reddy and BB Patil and other leaders quit the party and chose to contest either on behalf of Congress or the BJP.

This trend is expected to continue in the days to come.

The party may also have to deal with the investigations ordered by the Congress government into alleged phone-tapping during the BRS regime and into the damage at Medigadda barrage of Kaleshwaram project.

BRS MLC K Kavitha has already been arrested by ED in a money-laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the scrapped Delhi excise policy 2021-22.

"Parliamentary elections delivered a death blow to the BRS pushing it to an unprecedented existential crisis," said Ramu Suravajjula, a political analyst.

BRS Working President K T Rama Rao, however, expressed confidence that his party would bounce back in spite of the challenges it is facing.

Rama Rao on June 4 said, in the last 24 years since TRS (now BRS) was founded, it has seen stellar achievements, successes and also many setbacks.

"The greatest glory: Formation of Telangana state will remain our biggest achievement. Being a regional party won two consecutive state elections with a good majority 63/119 - 2014, 88/119 - 2018. Currently, the principal opposition with 1/3rd seats 39/119 - 2023," he said in a post on X (formerly twitter).

"...electoral setback is certainly very disappointing. But we will continue to toil and will rise from the ashes again like a Phoenix," Rama Rao, son of BRS president and former Telangana Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao, said.

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