Telangana braces up for a triangular contest

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Telangana braces up for a triangular contest

Tuesday, 28 November 2023 | Kalyani Shankar

Telangana braces up for a triangular contest

The youngest state in India is ready for a triangular electoral contest. Bharat Rashtra Samithi, Congress, and the Bharatiya Janata Party are the main contenders

Since its inception in 2014, BRS. Chief K Chandrashekhar Rao has been at the helm. He is keen to perform a hat trick. However, anti-incumbency poses a significant challenge for him. Despite leading the

the separate Telangana movement successfully, he has faced a decline in popularity for various reasons.

In 2018, surprisingly, preponing the polls, T.R.S. won 88 seats in the 119-member Assembly. Congress followed it with 19 and AIMIM with 7. At present, BRS holds a total of 99 seats by splitting other parties, while Congress has 8 MLAs. The AIMIM and BJP have 7 and 6 MLAs, respectively.

KCR is a tinpot dictator and has installed his family members, including his son and daughter, in prominent positions. His son, KT Rama Rao, is the deputy chief minister, his daughter, Kavita, is an MP, and his nephew is a minister.

Rao has big plans for himself and his family. After he wins, he plans to install his son as the state's chief minister. Not content with being a state-level politician, he has set his sights on national politics.

As a first step, KCR changed the Party's name from Telangana Rashtra Samithi to Bharat Rashtra Saminthi, indicating a shift towards a more national outlook.

Rao had attempted to form a third front, a federal front, and a ginger group over the past decade, but there were no takers. The newly formed opposition group, INDIA, has yet to invite KCR to join them despite their aim to challenge the B.J.P. They allege that KCR is the B team of the BJP.

This election is a make-or-break moment for three primary players, as the B.J.P. sees Telangana as an opportunity to gain in southern politics. The outcome will undoubtedly set the tone for next year's Lok Sabha elections.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was once a significant political player but has weakened over the last decade. Its leader, Chandrababu Naidu, is facing corruption charges and has announced that the Party will not participate in the upcoming polls. Meanwhile, the Congress party has regained its position and poses a serious challenge to the TRS. The Bharatiya Janata Party's goal of becoming the main opposition party in the state is far-fetched. Despite improving in the municipal elections, it has now slipped to the third position. Apart from winning twice in Karnataka, the BJP has no significant presence in Southern India, except in alliance with the N.R. Congress in Puducherry. The BJP intends to gain more seats in the South to balance out any potential losses in the North, where their expansion is already at its peak.

Congress regrets dividing Andhra Pradesh in 2014 under pressure. To its horror, the move backfired as people rejected Congress, favouring TRS. in Telangana and YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh.

KCR has announced his candidacy from two constituencies, Gajwel and Kamareddy. In Gajwel, he faces a rebel from BRS, while in Kamareddy, he will be up against Congress leader Revanth Reddy. He has retained all ministers and senior MLAs to avoid any rebellion in the Party despite taking a risk.

According to recent opinion polls, the Congress party is leading in the competition, followed by BRS and BJP The BRS. is expected to win fewer seats than last time, while Congress is predicted to gain more. AIMIM, which has a limited presence, may retain the same seats. A few independent candidates may win one or two seats. BJP is expected to be in the fourth position.

KCR believes that his work will get him votes. He has concentrated on irrigation and agriculture as well as Information Technology. Multinationals like Google have invested in Hyderfabad even before 2014. Telengana's GDP has more than doubled. But a cash-rich state has a heavy debt burden.

BJP, which would reconcile with any other party ruling Telangana other than Congress. According to rumours, the BJP is helping KCR in a secret deal. In return, the BJP would go soft on KCR's daughter, whom the agencies hounded.

Congress is gaining ground quickly, thanks to Revanth Reddy's leadership. Sonia Gandhi announced six populist schemes to win over voters, offering Rs 2500 for women and Rs 15000 for farmers. She also reminded the crowd that Congress created Telangana in 2014. The success of KCR is dependent on his political strategy. In contrast, his opponents criticise his family and accuse him of corruption. KCR emerged victorious on the Telangana issue in 2014 and supported the farmers in the 2018 elections. However, currently, he faces anti-incumbency, a resurgent Congress, and the Centre's attempts to tarnish his daughter's reputation.

Congress should seize this opportunity to gain power in the Game of Thrones. There is a mood for change. When people are determined to bring about change, they will do so despite any challenges or obstacles.

(The writer is a popular columnist; views are personal)

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