State BJP divided over BRS alliance

Hyderabad: The Telangana state BJP is divided over the contentious issue of an alliance with the BRS for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024, especially after the pink party was soundly trounced by the Congress in the Assembly elections.

While some leaders felt there was little value in allying or being friendly with a regional party that had lost popular ground, others felt it would be prudent to have an alliance for the Lok Sabha elections, wherein the state would elect 17 crucial members to the Parliament in a few months.

“One of the big reasons for the debacle of the BJP in Telangana state Assembly elections was the perception successfully created by the Congress that the BJP and BRS are in alliance. Though our seat tally rose from one to eight, and the vote percentage also grew, it was far short of what we could have achieved. Any further dalliance with the BRS would prove to be another bear hug,” a senior leader of the BJP, who lost the election, said.

The highly influential pro-KCR and pro-BRS groups within the saffron party feel that it would be a bit risky to have the anti-Congress vote split, despite the pro-Modi mood that they expect to consolidate nationwide after the inauguration of Ayodhya Ram temple on January 22.

“As such, the BJP would be in pole position for the Lok Sabha. Previous elections, especially to the state Assemblies, would not have too much bearing because the narrative would be all about electing Narendra Modi as Prime Minister for a third consecutive term. But it would still be in our interest to try to win all 17 seats, for which a partnership with the BRS would prove important,” another leader, who is keen to contest the Lok Sabha elections, said.

There are sufficient election studies that point out that voters tend to vote similarly in any two elections held within a six-month period, even if other analyses showed a correlation of a distinct voting pattern in many regions for state and national elections, especially when a powerful factor, like the Modi appeal, is in play.

“There is little doubt that the people of Telangana have strongly spoken out against the misrule of the BRS. It would be best for the BJP to fight these elections alone and take on both the Congress and BRS. It is reasonably fair to say that the fight anyway would be between the national parties, Congress and BJP, with the BRS having no narrative or relevance to these Lok Sabha polls,” a BJP MLA said.

He argued that a formal saffron-pink understanding would also push the MIM towards the Congress, further consolidating the Muslim vote strongly for the ruling party in the state.

“We must not give credence to pro-BRS voices in the BJP because Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself announced publicly that he had rejected BRS boss K. Chandrashekar Rao’s request to join the NDA. Nothing has changed. The BJP will fight all the 17 Lok Sabha seats on its own,” a senior leader said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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