TRS main opposition In future BJP

K Chandrashekar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi has climbed down the political fence in Parliament, where it was steadily perched, since 2014 LS polls, and obliged the BJP during many key floor battles and voting.

In this season of Congress-Trinamool rift, political circles are closely watching a twist in the tale involving a regional party and the BJP. K Chandrashekar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi has climbed down the political fence in Parliament, where it was steadily perched, since 2014 LS polls, and obliged the BJP during many key floor battles and voting. It has started attending daily strategy meetings of floor leaders of anti-BJP opposition parties in the office of leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

Senior TRS MP K Keshava Rao represented the party at the floor coordination meetings on Monday and Tuesday and TRS signed the joint opposition statement against suspension of 12 RS members. TRS MPs also forced an adjournment in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday against Centre’s farm policies. In the past, TRS had even proposed a non-Congress front, courting AITC, BJD and others.

TRS’ mingling with the larger opposition bloc is seen in the context of a growing political chill between the KCR government in Telangana and the Modi regime. In the latest instance, KCR lashed out at the Centre, claiming his regime was unable to buy paddy during Rabi because the Modi regime refused to buy parboiled rice from the state. While the CM and TRS are showcasing the ‘anti-farmer policies’ of the Centre, political circles feel TRS has several reasons to be miffed with BJP.

Telangana observers predict TRS would turn more aggressive against the Centre as BJP positions itself as TRS’ main electoral rival in the state. BJP won a huge victory in the recent Huzurabad assembly poll, where the winner was Eatala Rajender who quit the KCR cabinet and crossed over from TRS to BJP. The manner in which BJP won four LS polls in Telangana and the way it challenged TRS in the Greater Hyderabad civic polls have advertised its ambitions to project itself as TRS’ main rival, taking over the opposition space from the struggling Congress

“The fact is that the TRS has always acted as an opposition party in Parliament. This time, I am attending the meetings of many opposition floor leaders because our party has been taking up the causes of farmers and has been forcefully opposing the anti-farmers policies of the central government. TRS will continue to attend the opposition floor strategy meeting during this session,” Keshava Rao told ET when asked about TRS’ presence in the opposition floor coordination meeting.

He also said despite efforts by certain quarters to create “a wrong perception about TRS being soft on the BJP,” it was his party that routed BJP in most constituencies. Rao, a former PCC chief, said “once or twice” he as TRS nominee had attended a meeting called by then opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on some issue. But some MPs of opposition parties said the cooperation and camaraderie TRS extended “is a pleasant surprise and a positive development”. After being part of the UPA government, and having played a big role in making the Congress and its government agree to the bifurcation of the AP, KCR dramatically snapped ties with the Congress and swept the 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly polls, virtually swallowing the state Congress. Since then, KCR-led TRS never let the Telangana Congress get back on its feet. Opposition circles hence feel TRS’ cooperation may be meant more as a sign of its growing hostility to BJP than liking for Congress.

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