With 3 CMs by his side, KCR set to project himself as national leader at grand 18 Jan BRS public meeting

Party is trying to mobilise 5 lakh people. Kejriwal, Mann, Pinarayi, Deve Gowda and Akhilesh Yadav to be present.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jan 17, 2023 | 10:00 AM Updated Jan 17, 2023 | 10:00 AM

Telangana Chief Minister and BRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao. (Supplied)

Aiming to grab power at the Centre, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is set to project himself as a national leader at the BRS’s first public meeting at Khammam, which shares its border with Andhra Pradesh, on Wednesday, 18 January.

BRS leaders are working overtime preparing for the mammoth meeting. They are trying to mobilise at least five lakh people, mostly from the Khammam, Bhadradri-Kothagudem, Suryapet, and Mahabubabad districts.

KCR has invited his Delhi, Punjab, and Kerala counterparts, Arvind Kejriwal, Bhagwant Singh Mann, Pinarayi Vijayan, respectively.

He is also expecting former prime minister HD Deve Gowda and the former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, to add a national flavour to the meeting.

BRS Andhra Pradesh president Thota Chandrasekhar, former minister Ravela Kishore Babu, and retired IRS officer Parthasarathy are also mobilising people from their state. Andhra was the first state where KCR has appointed a president for the BRS, on 2 January.

Firming up the agenda

The chief minister, who has already given a sneak peek into agenda of the revamped BRS several times, is expected to give it a definite shape and present it before the people.

While renaming TRS as BRS, he had said the slogan for the 2024 elections would be, Ab ki Baar, Kisan Sarkar, indicating that the party would mainly be farmer-centric.

Since the BRS does not have any specific ideology, like the Hindutva of the BJP, KCR will be relying on the need to ensure farmers’ welfare.

He hopes to connect with the farmers in the rest of the country by showcasing his government’s schemes, Rythu Bandhu, Rytu Bheema, round-the-clock power supply, and Kaleswaram, a major lift irrigation scheme built in the upland areas of Telangana.

Unlike Narendra Modi, who had the backing of a national party when he bid for power at the Centre, KCR now only has a fledgling BRS which is yet to put down its roots in other states, including Andhra Pradesh.

Related: KCR lauds Telangana farm policies as role model for nation

BRS to showcase Telangana model

KCR, however, is expected to showcase the Telangana model of development, which includes welfare schemes and development projects, but he would have to convince the people in other states on how he would be able to replicate them in their states which are not as affluent as Telangana.

In the case of Telangana, KCR was fortunate enough to inherit Hyderabad at the time of the state bifurcation. Hyderabad, as a Kamadhenu (bovine goddess of plenty in Hindu mythology), provided him resources for every scheme that he wanted to implement.

It may not be the case with many other backward states in the country.

KCR is looking beyond the Vindhyas, but he has an immediate challenge: Retain power in the Assembly election due later this year.

Though he seems to be sitting pretty, he may have a tough time if, by any quirk of fate, the election throws up a result that is not to his liking.

He had said that the efforts to make the party spread its wings in other states would gather speed after Sankranti and the party leaders are getting ready to fan out to other states to help the BRS expand its footprint.

Currently, all of them are busy trying to make the 18 January meeting a grand event.

Finance Minister T Harish Rao said: “The 18 January meeting will be a turning point in the nation’s history.”

Also read: From TRS to BRS: A name game or a game changer?

Why Khammam?

The reason for choosing Khammam for his “show of strength” is apparently because the party is not very strong in the district. Its leaders there are always at loggerheads.

Finance Minister Harish Rao, who is supervising the arrangements for the meeting, is also trying to iron out the differences among local BRS leaders in the wake of reports that former MP Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy is ready to join the BJP.

Former minister Thummala Nageswara Rao, too, is reportedly exploring options after he was sidelined in the party.

To contain further damage, KCR asked the leaders to bury the hatchet and lend their shoulders to his efforts to launch a “revolution at the national level” to provide better standards of living for everyone.

Another reason why KCR wants to hold his public meeting at Khammam is to dwarf the image of his bete noire N Chandrababu Naidu of the TDP, who is trying to stage a comeback in Telangana.

The TDP, which remained a dead duck for the past eight years, is showing signs of acquiring a new lease of life when people attended Naidu’s public meeting in Khammam large numbers.

The youth participated with renewed enthusiasm in the rally that preceded it.

KCR knows it is always wise to nip in the bud any problem that may later become insurmountable.