Hyderabad: Making a formal foray into national politics Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao transformed his strong regional party Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) into Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) on Wednesday.
He chose the Dussehra festival to announce the renaming by reading out a unanimous resolution at the party’s extended general body meeting on Wednesday. The announcement was made at 1.19 pm, an auspicious moment chosen by KCR in consultation with astrologers.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) President HD Kumaraswamy was among the leaders of the other non-BJP non-Congress parties to grace the occasion.
After the general body meeting passed the resolution, necessary amendments were also made to the party’s constitution turning it into a National Party.
The next official move will be submitting a formal letter to the Election Commission of India communicating the change in the name of the party.
However, the Election Commission will recognise it as a national party only after it registers electoral success in at least one more state, in addition to Telangana in future.
The immediate test of popularity for the party under the new name will be the Munugode assembly by-election in the state in early November. However, KCR’s eyes would be on the next general elections in 2024 in which he intends to emerge as a major player.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), a friend of the TRS, has hailed its transformation into a national party. MIM President and MP Asaduddin Owaisi congratulated KCR and extended his good wishes. “My best wishes to the party on their new beginning”, he said.
As part of his plans to expand the party’s footprint to the national level, KCR will be adding Hindi and English news channel to his existing media network which includes Telugu TV channel, Telugu and English daily news papers.
KCR has implemented his long pending plans to upgrade TRS into a national party in the backdrop of his continuing efforts to bring other regional parties together to challenge the country’s ruling BJP. He was already in the thick of an aggressive campaign against the government’s policies and programmes.
However, the main opposition Congress alleged that the main motive behind KCR’s national plans was to target and weaken Congress.
TRS was launched as a regional party in 2001 by KCR converting the ongoing agitation for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creating separate Telangana state. After an intense agitation, which saw many ups and downs and wave of suicide by Telangana supporters, TRS finally achieved its goal when the then United Progress Alliance Government accepted the demand for a separate state in 2013. In 2014 Telangana became a reality and KCR led his regional party to power in the new state. The party retained power in the state for a second term in December 2018.
KCR has made the latest move at a time when the BJP has pulled out all stops in its campaign against TRS and was trying its best to dislodge him from power in the next elections.