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    The Chief Minister of Telangana, K. Chandrashekar Rao, may support the initiative for opposition unity led by Nitish Kumar from Bihar, but is unlikely to allow the Congress to have a dominant role. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was recently renamed as the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and has previously taken an equidistant stance from both the BJP and Congress. However, the BRS may consider joining an opposition alliance with the Congress as a constituent since it sees the BJP as “enemy number one.”

    KCR has conveyed his objection to Rahul Gandhi being projected as the face of opposition. Nitish Kumar has already held meetings with various opposition leaders, but is yet to talk to KCR. However, BRS working president K T Rama Rao says that KCR is in regular touch with Nitish Kumar and other regional parties.

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    There have been speculations on whether Nitish Kumar would be acceptable to KCR as the opposition candidate for the Prime Minister’s post in 2024. KCR had visited Bihar in August 2022 and discussed his idea of a third opposition to challenge the BJP with Nitish Kumar and his deputy and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav.

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    The BRS chief shared the dais with his counterparts from Kerala, Delhi, Punjab, as well as Akhilesh Yadav and Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D. Raja at the maiden public meeting of BRS held in January at Khammam. There were speculations that Nitish Kumar was not invited to the public meeting, but he had said that he was busy with some engagements in the state and did not know about KCR’s rally.

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    The BRS stayed away from the meeting of 16 opposition leaders held in March in the chamber of Congress president Kharge, at Parliament House, citing the Congress’ criticism of KCR. KCR’s son KTR categorically stated that the BRS will not ally with either the Congress or the BJP in future under any circumstances, adding that both the parties have failed miserably in putting the state and the country on the growth trajectory.

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    Political analysts say that while BRS may publicly deny any plans for friendship with Congress, it may finally sail with Nitish Kumar and others who want to take Congress party along in putting up a united fight against BJP. KCR is reported to be for a more accommodating stance vis-a-vis Congress, keeping in view the fact that all regional parties and Congress are being targeted by the Modi government by misuse of central agencies.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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