The TRS and Congress party is planning big and both parties are strategizing as there are all indications for an early poll.
As per schedule the elections is slated to be held in April/May, 2019 in Telangana. However speculations began to float for quite sometime about the possibility of the elections being advanced in the state. Apart from Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao sounding the possibility of early elections, even Governor ESL Narasimhan reportedly hinted to AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu that the TRS Government was toying with the idea of advancing the polls in Telangana.
However opinion seem to be divided in the ruling TRS in advancing the elections in the state. While KCR seemed to be favouring early elections considering the feel good atmosphere prevailing among the people for the numerous welfare schemes launched by the ruling party, senior party leaders including some ministers seem to feel otherwise based on sentiments that early elections had sounded the death knell for he ruling parties in the past.
It is pertinent to recall here that advancing the elections in the undivided Andhra Pradesh in the past had led to the downfall of the then Congress government headed by Kotla Vijaybashkar Reddy and later the TDP Government headed by N T Rama Rao. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee tasted defeat when his NDA Government at the Centre was trounced following advancing the Lok Sabha elections polls and which in turn also resulted in the downfall of the N.Chandrababu Naidu government in the then undivided AP.
Thus based on the track record of early elections in the past, opinion seemed to be divided in the TRS based on such sentiments though the Chief Minister seemed to be confident about his party’s smooth sailing by over coming all challenges at the hustings whenever it is held. Will the sentiments of the party leaders prevail over the confidence of the Chief Minister on early elections is the big question being debated in political circles as of now.
Meanwhile both the ruling TRS and the main opposition Congress are busy formulating their respective strategies for the ensuing elections. The TRS has already made it clear that it would go it alone in the coming elections. The Congress is still grappling with the idea of forging alliances with like-minded parties. The TDP is also not averse to have an understanding with the Congress as it feels that the TRS is having a soft corner for the BJP. Considering its bitter rivalry with BJP following the fiasco over the Special Category Status to AP, the TDP seemed prepared to take on the TRS for hobnobbing with the BJP by forging an alliance with the Congress.
As a prelude to an hectic election campaign, both the TRS and Congress are engaged in a show of strength by planning massive public rallies. The Congress has already tried to show its might with the two-day visit of AICC President Rahul Gandhi who addressed a huge public rally on the outskirts of the city besides interacting with the OU students and unemployed youth and women’s organizations. The Gandhi scions visit has undoubtedly boosted the morale and confidence of the party’s cadre.
Not to lag behind in exhibiting its might, the TRS has planned to organize a massive rally of 25-lakh people on September 2. KCR has made it amply clear to his cabinet colleagues and party leaders to ensure that the public rally would be one of the biggest of its kind in history and thus show case the party’s strength to the country. The Chief Minister would also submit a progress report at the rally about his government’s various welfare and developmental programmes launched during the last four and half years. The Congress party is also planning to invite Rahul Gandhi once again to address more rallies in the coming days. Efforts are also being made to invite UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to visit the state and address public rallies.
Both the TRS and Congress also are well aware that votes of “settlers” would be very crucial in the elections. There are sizeable settlers in many pockets of the state, especially in some Assembly segments in GHMC limits, Nizamabad, Ranga Reddy and Khammam districts. Thus taking into view this important vote bank of settlers, both the parties are working out strategies to woo them by offering various sops and incentives. Here one cannot ignore the fact that these settlers basically have soft corner for TDP and thus can be called the vote banks of the party. This is also one of the reason for the Congress to forge an alliance with the TDP to garner the support of the settlers. The TRS on its part is also trying to entice the settlers by offering them lucrative posts and even give them party tickets to contest from seats where they have considerable strength.
Thus with the elections fast approaching, the state would witness bitter and high decibel electioneering.