BRS future hangs on the outcome of Lok Sabha polls

Hyderabad: Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy had asserted more than once during the recent Lok Sabha election campaign that the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) would be wiped out after the polls. “The car has gone to the mechanic’s shed and it will never come back. It will be sold as scrap,” Revanth Reddy had said.

The poll outcome on June 4 will decide which way the pink party will go. If the party manages to open its account by securing at least one Lok Sabha seat, the party would struggle to continue in state politics. But, if the party drew a blank, the decline of the BRS would be speedier than expected as was seen after the defeat in the recent Assembly elections when its leaders and cadres moved away in droves to other parties. A wipe-out would definitely send the danger bells ringing for the party, sources said.

BRS sources have said that the 17-day-long bus yatra taken out by BRS president and former chief minister K. Chandashekar Rao had helped to halt the erosion of the base of the party and sustain hope among its on-ground workers of the party

Chandrashekar Rao’s yatra began on April 24 and concluded on May 10, just before the Lok Sabha polls. It is to be noted that TPCC president and Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy had announced on April 16 at a meet the press programme that he was opening the 'gates' of the party as part of `Operation Akarsh', with BRS MP from Chevella G. Ranjith Reddy and BRS MLA from Khairatabad Danam Nagender joining the Congress.

Besides senior leaders like K. Keshava Rao, four MPs of the BRS left the party and three of them joined the BJP and one the Congress. Venkatesh Neta from Peddapalli, B.B. Patil from Zaheerabad and Ramulu Naik from Nagarkurnool have joined the BJP and while Ranjith Reddy from Chevella joined the Congress and was given the party nomination for the Lok Sabha polls.

Apart from Nagender, representing the Khairatabad Assembly segment, BRS legislators Kadiam Srihari from Station Ghanpur and Tellam Venkat Rao from Bhadrachalam left the pink party and joined the Congress. Madan Reddy, former MLA from Narsapur, and A. Indrakaran Reddy, former MLA from Nirmal, also joined the ruling party in the state.

Besides them, scores of elected representatives from urban and rural local bodies have switched over to the Congress. At several places, BRS leaders have been replaced after no-confidence motions. This apart from BRS leaders taking their cadres along with them to the Congress and the BJP.

When the party ranks was emptying with one leader after another joining the Congress and Revanth Reddy announcing the opening of gates of the party, the BRS president huddled with close aides and launched the bus yatra to try and stem the flow.

BRS sources said the bus yatra had stopped another set of four BRS MLAs from joining the Congress. Sunita Laxma Reddy from Narsapur, Kotha Prakash Reddy from Dubbaka, Banda Prakash from Rajendranagar and Mahipal Reddy from Patancheru had all met Revanth Reddy just before Chandrashekar Rao embarked on the bus yatra and it was speculated that they would join the Congress. However, they have not joined the Congress so far.

The bus yatra by the party chief forced the BRS leaders to pause and watch the situation. BRS sources said that the party candidates had given a creditable performance in the Lok Sabha elections at the Medak, Khammam, Mahbubabad and Secunderabad constituencies and hoped to win at least two seats, though the party was pinning its hopes on Medak.

A party leader maintained that a win in Medak would lend a fresh lease of life to the party, else it would be difficult to maintain the momentum and retain its image as a credible Opposition party in the state.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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