Will Local Level Dissidence Hurt TRS?

TRS Headquarters in Hyderabad - Sakshi Post

K Jayadev

Internal dissidence is the scourge of all political parties and the ruling Telangana Rastra Samiti (TRS) seems to be no exception. Dissidence seems to be brewing in TRS, as things stand today. In as many as four municipalities and a municipal corporation the TRS is on the verge of losing its hold. TRS corporators have moved a no-confidence motion against their own party's chairpersons, which is an indicator of where things are headed. This is a serious issue since the TRS which has boasted of grass-root level cadre is now facing rebellion at that level.

To be fair to the ruling party, it is not the only political entity to be afflicted with this malaise. And the fact that it is currently in power, generates more expectations and aspirations at all levels. If reports are to be believed, many more municipalities and municipal corporations are caught in in similar situation.

Fortunately for TRS, the dissidence is not being widely reported in the media. Yet another plus point is that we are barely 10 months away from general and assembly elections, and hence, this dissidence could have little effect on the party's prospects in the coming elections. But the party top leadership has to understand that all is not as rosy as it seems within TRS. It needs to act decisively against this tide of dissidence.

Ramagundam municipal corporation, Bellampally, Vemulawada, Huzurabad and Bodhan municipalities' chairpersons are facing no-confidence motion by their own partymen. Interestingly, the Ramagundam rebellion was led by local MLA and TSRTC chairman S Satyanarayana. He has garnered the support of 32 corporators out of 50 and went ahead with a no-confidence motion.

Reacting to Satyanarayana's move, municipal administration and urban development minister KT Rama Rao swung into action on a fire- fighting mission. He in fact took offence at the MLA's act and even warned that if he does not withdraw the no-confidence motion, an ordinance against it will have to be brought in. This didn't go down well with Satyanarayana, but he tried to pacify his corporators. In the meanwhile, the Ramagundam MLA announced that he would quit politics. He blamed the TRS functioning and lack of discipline within the party as reasons for his decision. But, within two days, looks like things have calmed down with the interference of party's top leadership.

The TRS top leadership seems to be taking the issue casually as it feels that these 'minor' disruptions will not have any effect on the party in general elections. All the municipalities and municipal corporations are in the last leg of their term. According to sources within the party, the dissidence came out into the open because the chairpersons had not followed the arrangement of handing over the post to other group after two-and-half years.

Then why didn't dissidence start immediately after two-and-half years? According to the municipal law, the no-confidence motion can be moved only when the elected bodies have completed four years out of the five-year term. This law held the party at municipal level intact for all this time. As soon as the fourth year was completed, the corporators made a bee line to district collectors to submit signed letters against their own chairpersons.

It is said the collectors will soon hold special meetings for voting at these five places within 15 days.

How much impact will this rebellion have on TRS? Going by the mood within the party this will have no consequence at all. An interesting revelation by TRS party leader says it all. He pointed out that the municipal bodies have very little to offer. Most of the development activities depend on government funds and few through MPLADS and MLAs funds. So these municipal bodies are not in the picture, and hence the dissidence will have minimal effect, the TRS leader feels.

With Congress trying to nurture the rebellion and TRS confident that this would not have much of an impact, the local level politics in Telangana appears to be heating up.

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