By ending the boycott of meetings, BRS hints at closeness with BJP

BRS representative attending the all-party meeting on Saturday raised eyebrows in political circles. This came amid indications of a change in BRS's stand towards BJP and Prime Minister Modi.

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) working president K. T. Rama Rao (Photo: IANS)
Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) working president K. T. Rama Rao (Photo: IANS)


The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has ended its boycott of meetings called by the Centre, in yet another indication of its closeness with the BJP ahead of Telangana Assembly elections.

After a gap of over two-and-a-half-years, BRS sent its representatives to a meeting convened by the Centre. Its former MP and vice-chairman of the Telangana State Planning Board, B. Vinod Kumar on Saturday attended an all-party meeting on the Manipur situation.

The BRS has been boycotting the meetings convened by the Centre since November 2020. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had also skipped the meetings chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Telangana Chief Minister skipped the NITI Aayog meeting chaired by the Prime Minister last month. He had also boycotted the NITI Aayog meeting in August last year as a mark of protest against the Central government’s "discriminatory" attitude towards the states.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, KCR wrote that the Centre is not treating states as equal partners in collective effort to make India a strong and developed country.

KCR had also stopped receiving the Prime Minister on his visits to Hyderabad. He did not receive Modi when the latter visited Hyderabad in April this year to launch a few projects. This was the fifth time in the last 14 months that the Chief Minister did not receive him on his visit to the state.

In this context, a BRS representative attending the all party meeting on Saturday raised eye-brows in political circles. This came amid indications of a change in BRS stand towards BJP and Prime Minister Modi.

The first indication came on June 15 when BRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao called Prime Minister Modi a ‘good friend’.

Addressing a press conference in Nagpur, KCR had said that he had nothing personal against Modi. Calling him a good friend, the BRS chief said they often exchange ideas on best practices.

KCR, who has been slamming the Prime Minister and the BJP for several months, has stopped attacking them in recent days. At the public meetings, he addressed at three places in Telangana, he avoided criticizing either BJP or Modi and instead targeted the Congress party.

BRS also stayed away from Patna meeting of opposition parties including Congress held on June 23 to discuss a strategy to take on BJP in 2024 polls.

Hinting at the closeness with the BJP, KCR’s son and state minister K. T. Rama Rao (KTR) was in Delhi to meet central ministers. He met union ministers Rajnath Singh, Hardeep Singh Puri  and Piyush Goel during a two-day visit to discuss state-specific issues.

KTR also explained why BRS stayed away from the Patna meeting. He clarified that the BRS doesn’t subscribe to the view that the BJP or Congress should be the nucleus of any front or coalition.

“We believe in uniting people on issues and not in uniting parties,” said KTR, who is also working president of BRS.

Hitting out at BRS, AICC incharge for Telangana, Manikrao Thakre has called it the B team of BJP. On KTR’s meetings with the union ministers, he said that this shows how KCR was moving closer to the saffron party for a possible alliance between the two parties.

“The two parties are trying to make it look like a meeting that was held purely to discuss the developmental issues in Telangana. But, the real motive behind the meeting was to forge a friendly alliance. This why the Enforcement Directorate is delaying the arrest of BRS MLC K Kavitha in the Delhi excise scam,” the Congress leader said.

The state unit of BJP has already termed KCR’s ‘Modi a good friend remark’ as a gimmick. State BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar alleged that KCR is trying to damage the graph of BJP.

“Don’t fall for KCR’s gimmicks. He is conspiring to damage the BJP's graph and increase the image of the Congress. Part of it is calling PM @narendramodi ji his friend. If Modi ji is ur friend, why are you not receiving him at the airport, or attending NITI Aayog meetings,” Bandi Sanjay said in a tweet.

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