BSP Once Labelled BRS ‘Anti-Dalit’, Now They Have A ‘Historic’ Tie-up in Telangana, And Criticism Is Flying in Fast – News18

BSP Once Labelled BRS ‘Anti-Dalit’, Now They Have A ‘Historic’ Tie-up in Telangana, And Criticism Is Flying in Fast – News18

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BRS chief KCR and BSP Telangana president RS Praveen Kumar address a joint press meet. Pic/ANI

BRS chief KCR and BSP Telangana president RS Praveen Kumar address a joint press meet. Pic/ANI

Some political analysts have said that the alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha elections is nothing but an example of political opportunism

The alliance between the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Telangana for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls has received harsh criticism from several quarters. On Thursday, Telangana BSP chief Dr RS Praveen Kumar put up a post on social media site X, defending the move. He called the alliance a “historic” one and said that “leaders who did not have the courage to go to the people with pictures of Ambedkar, Kanshi Ram and Phule had no right to criticise the decision”.

Praveen Kumar had been a vocal critic of BRS president K Chandrashekar Rao and his “anti-Dalit” policies. He had slammed the previous government’s Dalit Bandhu scheme, and had said that KCR was taking Dalits for a ride. KCR had also faced flak for not keeping his promise of making a Dalit the chief minister of the state. That is why, critics say, it is strange that the Bahujan Samaj Party has joined hands with what it had suggested was an anti-Dalit party.

Before joining the BSP, RS Praveen Kumar was a celebrated IPS officer under the KCR government. He had garnered a following in his own right due to his work in improving the conditions of institutions meant for Scheduled Caste ad Scheduled Tribe students.

Sources say that a few members resigned from the BSP as they were unhappy about the alliance. On the other hand, BRS leader Koneru Konappa met Telangana chief minister Revanth Reddy recently. He was allegedly upset over the BRS-BSP tie-up and is likely to join the Congress. Konappa is a former MLA from Sirpur, the seat Praveen Kumar had contested from the BSP in the 2023 assembly elections.

In his post on X, the former IPS officer explained the party’s U-turn, saying: “It is common for political parties to change their strategies for success, keeping in mind their own ideologies, strengths and weaknesses, according to political conditions. Every party has grown in strength with the help of alliances. Unfortunately, a few people do not see this. It is ridiculous that these people who have never spoken up are blaming the BRS-BSP alliance.”

E Venkateshu, a political commentator, agrees that parties do change their stances depending on the prevailing conditions. However, the result of the alliance will make for an interesting watch, he says. “With BSP not winning a single seat in Telangana and BRS with its huge poll defeat, it is a question of whether two negatives will result in something positive, or if they will end up with a larger negative impact. The relevance of the BSP has decreased nationally too in the past few years. In Telangana, the Lok Sabha elections are being seen as a fight mainly between the Congress and the BJP. We have to see whether BRS-BSP can become the main opponent in the Lok Sabha fight, or is pushed farther away.”

Kambalapally Krishna, CEO of a political consultancy called Voice of Telangana and Andhra, says that the alliance is nothing but an example of political opportunism. “This development has exposed the hidden friendship between BJP and BRS. Even before the Telangana state elections, there was a rumour going around that the BSP contested in Telangana to help the BRS split the anti-incumbency vote. RS Praveen Kumar influenced lakhs of youths with his anti-KCR speeches. What happens to them now? The CAG has unearthed several scams that took place under the BRS government like the Kaleshwaram project, the sheep scam, etc. What’s BSP’s stand on those? This alliance is an example of political opportunism that threatens democracy.”

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