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Telugu States Politics: The Key Differences Between TDP, YCP, and BRS

Telugu States Politics: The Key Differences Between TDP, YCP, and BRS

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In the Telugu states, the condition of opposition parties is deteriorating day by day. Some MLAs who are confined to the opposition often look for ways to join the ruling party. They criticize the parties that have previously been in power and then jump to the parties currently in power. This situation is evident with both the YSR Congress Party (YCP) and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS). Occasionally, a few members switch parties. To date, only six members have left the BRS, with the rest remaining loyal to KCR.

As for the YCP, significant defections have yet to begin, suggesting that the situation hasn’t yet spiraled out of control. However, doubts about the future of both BRS and YCP are being raised, not due to defections but because of mistakes made by the party leaders in building their organizations. Unlike a strong party structure, both KCR and Jagan focused on embellishments while in power, which are now fading as they lose power.

The BRS, which came to power riding on the Telangana sentiment, incorporated leaders from the TDP and Congress. Before 2014, the BRS had minimal presence in certain districts, which it compensated for by bringing in TDP leaders. This approach resulted in a lack of homegrown party cadre. Leaders stayed with KCR while he was in power, but now, having lost power, many are looking elsewhere.

In Andhra Pradesh, the YCP became a platform for Congress leaders post-state bifurcation. Jagan saw this as an opportunity and welcomed these leaders into the YCP. However, this led to a weak party foundation, which could become a problem in the future. If the Congress strengthens in Andhra Pradesh, many YCP leaders might switch allegiance. Currently, many are already considering this possibility.

The TDP, on the other hand, is fundamentally different from the YCP and BRS. Chandrababu Naidu has built a robust foundation for the TDP, with over 70% of its MLAs beginning their political careers in the party. These leaders are deeply rooted in the TDP, which is why, despite defeats in 2004 and 2009, the party managed to win in 2014. Even after losing in 2019, it is poised to win again in 2024. Prominent leaders like the Kinjarapu family, the Vizianagaram royal family, Ayannapatrudu, and Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary all started their political journeys with the TDP, making them less likely to switch parties easily. Central Minister Rammohan Naidu, despite facing numerous temptations, remains loyal to the TDP because of his strong roots in the party.

A strong party foundation ensures that leaders remain loyal. In contrast, both BRS and YCP have relied on importing leaders from other parties, who tend to leave when power is lost.

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