Rocked by poll defeat, TRS heading towards split

May 21st, 2009 - 2:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, May 21 (IANS) The crushing defeat in the elections has pushed Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) to the brink of a split with a section of party leaders staging an open revolt against party chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao.
Blaming Rao’s policies and decisions for the party’s humiliation in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections, some leaders are planning to float a new outfit and are also trying to rope in revolutionary balladeer Gaddar and TRS ideologue Jayashankar.

A group of leaders led by state legislative council member K. Dilip Kumar has held discussions in this regard in the last two days. They have decided to call a meeting later this week to discuss the future course of action, which could include floating a new party or removing Rao as party president.

The dissidents feel that KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, has turned the party into a family affair by promoting his son. They also alleged that it was because of the decisions and style of functioning of KCR since 2004 that the party has weakened and moved away from its goal of achieving separate statehood to Telangana region.

There is a feeling among these TRS leaders critical of KCR that the party had turned into a one-man show and is confined only to fighting elections and making alliances.

The dissidents are making efforts to rope in Gaddar, a key figure in Telangana movement and TRS ideologue Jayashankar, former vice chancellor Kakatiya University.

Several leaders who quit TRS after 2004 and Telangana protagonists from different outfits are also willing to join them. Former minister T. Devender Goud is also ready to join such a movement. Goud had quit Telugu Desam Party (TDP) last year over the Telangana issue and floated his own outfit but merged the same with Praja Rajyam before last month’s elections.

“Everything was good initially but now TRS has become another political party though KCR had declared that it is a movement for separate Telangana,” said Prakash, who quit as TRS general secretary last year.

KCR had quit TDP in 2000 to float TRS, reviving the three-decade-old movement for separate statehood to Telangana, comprising 10 districts including Hyderabad.

In 2004, it joined hands with the Congress party to fight elections and bagged 26 assembly and five Lok Sabha seats. After the elections, TRS joined the Congress-led coalition governments both in the state and at the centre, evoking sharp reaction from a section of leaders.

Since then several flip-flops by KCR dealt a series of blows to the party. Ten of the state legislators and one MP staged revolt against his dictatorial style of function. The party pulled out of ruling coalitions both in the state and at the centre to protest the delay in carving out a separate state.

The by-elections forced by KCR last year to prove his point boomeranged on him as the party could retain only two Lok Sabha and nine assembly seats.

In the latest elections, TRS could win only two Lok Sabha and 10 assembly seats despite an alliance with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the two Left parties.

The legislators elected this time include KCR’s son K. Taraka Rama Rao, who was appointed party general secretary last year.

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