Crows in Telangana better watch out. TPCC president and Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy the other day declared that even if a ‘crow from the BRS’ wants to land on a Congress wall, his party workers would shoot it down. His comments came while countering the BJP narrative that the Congress and the BRS were together and his allusion was to the old Telugu adage on personal rivalries and how crows from one house won’t even land on the home of a rival. Swooping down on Revanth’s comments, BRS leader T. Harish Rao declared that the CM had nothing much to crow about after having admitted a slew of BRS leaders into his party, and even giving them tickets to contest the LS polls. “What you allowed to land in your territory are eagles and kites. Be careful about them,” was Harish’s advice to Revanth. Now that they appear to have been done with birds, the Congress has launched a new campaign evoking donkeys with its ‘Gadida Guddu’ campaign, playing again on how the BJP government at the Centre gave nothing to Telangana. Of course, donkeys don’t lay eggs, and just as that has never happened, all that the BJP has given is a non-existent donkey’s egg, is the Congress contention. With just about a week to go for the polls, it remains to be seen if anymore of God’s creatures will make it to the political shoot-outs now on in Telangana.


In an electoral season that has seen its fair share of promises, parades, and pandemonium, Mekapati Rajagopal Reddy, YSRC candidate for the Udayagiri Assembly segment, has arguably taken campaigning to a new controversial high. At a recent campaign event in Mulapalle and Shakunalapalle villages, Rajagopal decided to spice things up by issuing a rather medieval edict: Vote for the cycle symbol and find yourself excommunicated from the village. Rajagopal’s approach to voter persuasion was immediately met with dismay and outrage from villagers, who expressed disbelief at being treated as serfs in their own land. Opposition leaders seized the opportunity, denouncing Reddy’s threats as an affront to the very foundations of democracy.


Politics in some ways is like cricket. History is replete with last minute googlies from one party bowling the other out. The LS elections, Telangana state Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy appears to have decided, provide the perfect pitch for some hard hitting aimed at the BJP and the BRS. And with the ongoing IPL raising passions, to woo younger voters, Revanth has been talking about how the last Assembly polls were the semi-finals and the Lok Sabha polls the finals. “The Congress trounced KCR in the semi-finals last December and will defeat Narendra Modi in the finals on May 13,” is his pitch. The CM has also been bowling some beamers at the BRS and the BJP, comparing them with the Bangladesh and Pakistan cricket teams. The Congress defeated Bangladesh in the semi-finals and entered the finals where it will face Pakistan on May 13, indicating just how fierce the battle between the Congress and the BJP is, just like a cricket match between India and Pakistan. Not stopping there, he also says the LS polls are also a match between Telangana and Gujarat teams, adding the state team will ‘duck out’ Modi and Amit Shah on May 13 and register a grand victory.


Once written… manifestos are by no means a legal document with which people can hold political parties accountable, but that does not stop them from going at each other, waving the other side’s manifesto and pointing out just how the promises made were not kept. Doing this has been AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy who has taken to showing to the public TD’s 2014 manifesto, and reading out aloud every promise TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu failed to fulfil. The promises by the TD then were impractical, and the ones now are impossible, goes Jagan. For the YSRC manifesto? Jagan says he fulfilled 99 per cent of promises in his party’s 2019 manifesto and vows to come up with more welfare and development in the future. Whether the TD, or the YSRC, who the people believe in will all become clear soon enough.


What’s in a name? Clearly a lot when it comes to taking potshots at one another by political parties amidst the electioneering heat. In other times, too, as the renaming of the TRS as the BRS showed, it lost some of its sheen as the party that stands up for the state. That aside, the campaigning has shown that if left to themselves, leaders will play on acronyms of party names and try to reap political benefit as is being witnessed in Telangana. The other day, after Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy called the BJP ‘British Janata Party’, BJP state president and Union minister G. Kishan Reddy hit back calling the Indian National Congress, the ‘Italian National Congress’. And so it goes…


Senior Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham often makes puzzling statements, leaving those around him scratching their heads. The other day, he said if he cannot defeat Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan in the Assembly elections, he will change his name to ‘Padmanabha Reddy’ leaving many from the Reddy community wondering what was up with the Kapu leader. However, some Kapus who expressed support to Pawan Kalyan, commented that Padmanabham can call himself whatever he wants, and issue meaningless challenges but cannot defeat the Jana Sena chief.


Can cash carry an election? Or rather, how rich should a candidate be to contest and have hopes of winning? The answer to this was provided, sort of, by M. Sribharat, the TD’s MP candidate from Visakhapatnam, who also found himself in hot water after his remarks at a speech on Viksit Bharat that were made in the presence of Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, a poll ally. Addressing students, Bharat implied that one needs substantial financial resources to run for a Lok Sabha seat and cited Sitharaman’s absence from the electoral fray as an example. He remarked that he, unfortunately or fortunately, was contesting the 2024 elections because of this financial factor. The comments unfortunately for the man have not gone down well within his party.


Friends? Enemies? Frenemies? Leaders from the BJP, Congress and the BRS in the erstwhile unified Adilabad district are a confused lot these days what with migrations from one party to another by leaders and their followers leaving the long-timers in such parties wondering what their future or roles will be. Some leaders and former MLAs are clearly a frustrated lot with their political enemies joining their parties, while others are happy to see their enemies leave their political homes and go to another with little impact on their own prospects. All the migrants are wondering if they did the right thing as they are not receiving the kind of support they expected from the long-timers in the parties they joined recently. The latest such instance is that of former minister A. Indrakaran Reddy who joined the Congress after quitting the BRS, leaving Nirmal district Congress president K. Srihari Rao gnashing his teeth in frustration.


Step out into the open and the searing sun hits you. The heat from the previous day still hangs over the air like a heavy blanket. Campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls this summer is proving a challenge for political parties and their candidates, with the latter literally sweating it out every day. Public meetings are sought to be completed by 11 am, something that was not heard of in the past. Candidates from various parties in Nizamabad, setting their political differences aside, have urged the ECI to allow campaigning after the 10 pm deadline, and are keeping their fingers crossed hoping the ECI would hear their plea.

Contributions from Pillalamarri Srinivas, Narender Pulloor, Balu Pulipaka, Laxmi Pranathi, Vadrevu Srinivas, Sampat G. Samritan, G. Ram Mohan, L. Venkat Ram Reddy, Avinash P. Subramanyam

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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