The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is now the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), reflecting the national ambitions of its founder and chief K Chandrashekar Rao.
Rao, the Telangana Chief Minister, Wednesday held a meeting of the TRS State General Body at the party headquarters in Hyderabad. Among the attendees was Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, who arrived with 20 of his party MLAs. Tamil Nadu-based Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi’s T. Thirumavalavan, a Dalit leader, also came with a group of party representatives.
The members of TRS, which was launched in April 2001, unanimously approved a resolution to change its name and make it a national party. Now, a party delegation led by politburo member B Vinod Kumar will approach the Election Commission and submit an application seeking the name change and registration as a national party.
Leaders said changes were also made to the party’s constitution during the meeting.
Before the meeting, Rao hosted Kumaraswamy, Thirumavalavan and their party members for breakfast. Sources said BRS and JD(S) have decided to jointly contest elections in Karnataka.
In his bid to form a non-BJP, non-Congress alliance, KCR has met in recent months a number pf of top Opposition faces including Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha president Shibu Soren, Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin, Shiv Sena president and ex-Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, JD(S) chief and ex-PM H D Deve Gowda, ex-Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Tejaswi Yadav, and former Gujarat CM Shankersinh Vaghela.
The TRS camp has also been closely watching Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, the election to the AICC president’s post, and the meetings of regional party leaders — such as the one that Nitish and Lalu recently had with Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking the formation of a united Opposition front for the 2024 general elections — to gauge the moves of regional leaders.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president A Revanth Reddy ridiculed KCR for removing the word Telangana from his party. “The word represents this region and its people. It is an identity and a sentiment. By removing the word, KCR has butchered it and disrespected it. He has also severed all connections of the party with Telangana,” he said.
K Krishna Sagar Rao, chief spokesperson of the Telangana BJP unit, said KCR’s national entry while “struggling to keep his government operational” financially is a “misadventure”. “This is not the first time a regional party has nurtured national ambition. Many have tried and failed. I strongly believe the initiative is self-sabotage. The name change will lead to him losing his home turf, while he embarks on a wasteful national ambition,’’ he said.