On Wednesday, 5 October Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao launched Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), his national party. Rao, who is popularly known by the initials KCR, had been hinting at the launch of the national party since TRS party plenary in April this year.
Now, as per the announcement made on Wednesday, TRS will cease to exist and will be known as BRS. Here's a look at the festivities in Hyderabad and the history of TRS.
History of TRS and Why BRS Was Born
On Wednesday, also a Holiday on account of Dussehra, Telangana's capital Hyderabad witnessed rallies by jubilant TRS workers who welcomed the launch of the new national party. Starting 9 am, rallies of men and women in pink were seen crisscrossing the city, with many shouting slogans in support of KCR and his son and IT Minister K Taraka Rama Rao.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan too were present in Hyderabad to witness BRS' launch.
While Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao held a general body meeting of TRS at 12.30 pm to launch the party. A declaration to this effect was signed in the meeting. BRS was launched at 1.19 pm, believed to be an auspicious time.
However, the celebrations in Hyderabad also reminded onlookers of Telangana-wide agitations for separate statehood that rekindled in November 2009, with KCR going on an indefinite hunger strike.
It is believed, KCR expects to repeat the win he had with the launch of TRS even in the national front.
Rao made entry into politics as a youth leader of Indian National Congress. However, he made a switch to Telugu Desam Party, when film star turned politician N T Rama Rao launched the party in 1983. However, he lost in polls to Congress when he contested on a TDP ticket from Siddipet.
KCR made a comeback later, wresting the seat from the Congress in 1985. What followed was 13 victories in both Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, in which KCR contested and won from Karimnagar, Mahubnagar, and Medak.
In 2001, KCR quit TDP and launched Telangana Rashtra Samithi. He formed an alliance with the Congress and became a central minister in 2004. However, KCR broke off the alliance, accusing the Congress of betraying the 'Telangana cause.' He kept pushing for the formation of Telangana, which was once a region in Andhra Pradesh state.
In 2009, when Telangana agitation rekindled, he was allied with the TDP even as the Congress under YS Rajasekhara Reddy was in power. YSR, as Reddy was popularly known, died in a freak helicopter crash this year, leaving the field open for widespread agitations for Telangana formation in the state.
KCR was able convince the Congress leadership under Sonia Gandhi in the Centre to allow bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. Telangana was carved out of AP in 2014. However, KCR did not contest the elections as a Congress ally. TRS won 63 out of 119 seats in the Assembly in 2014. However, in 2018, he repeated the win as the TRS won 88 seats.
While the Congress was decimated in the state, with several leaders of the party joining the TRS, the BJP has been growing in Telangana. As the saffron party's threat has been felt by the TRS in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, in which the BJP won four seats, the pink party has been inching towards a different political tactic.
KCR has been opposing the BJP, criticising the national party's policies, since the end of 2021. He made his inclination to form a national party in July 2022.
On Wednesday, TRS' general body unanimously decided to rename TRS as BRS. KCR is expected to intimate the Election Commission of India of the renaming of his party on 6 October.