TRS chalks out plan to keep its SC, ST vote base intact
TRS is planning to roll out schemes like podu land pattas distribution for STs and Dalit Bandhu for SCs from March
HYDERABAD: The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), which made a clean sweep of Assembly constituencies reserved for candidates from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in 2018 polls except in Khammam, is planning to roll out schemes like podu land pattas distribution for STs and Dalit Bandhu for SCs from March to tighten its grip on those constituencies in the run-up to 2023 Assembly polls.
Party sources said the TRS leadership went on high alert after the Opposition BJP and the Congress launched special initiatives to gain a hold on reserved constituencies. The BJP has recently come up with Mission-19 and Mission-12 initiatives with an aim to win all the 19 SC and 12 ST reserved seats in 2023 Assembly polls. Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president A. Revanth Reddy held ‘Dalit Girijana Dandora’ meetings in a few districts with an eye on SC, ST reserved seats.
Against this backdrop, the TRS leadership has sprung into action to reaffirm its political dominance in reserved seats. It is hopeful that the party will get the support of SCs and STs if Dalit Bandhu is implemented on a saturation basis in SC constituencies and long pending podu lands issues of STs are addressed in their constituencies. Both these schemes will be rolled out from March.
Out of 119 Assembly constituencies in Telangana, 31 seats are reserved, of which SCs account for 19 and STs 12. In undivided Ranga Reddy district, Chevella and Vikarabad seats are reserved for SCs and both these seats were won by the TRS in 2018.
In undivided Medak district, Andhole and Zahirabad seats are reserved for SCs and both were won by TRS. In undivided Adilabad district, Chennur and Bellampalli are reserved for SCs and Asifabad, Khanapur and Boath are reserved for STs. The TRS bagged all these seats.
In undivided Karimnagar district, Dharmapuri, Choppadandi and Manakondur are reserved for SCs and the TRS won all the three. In undivided Nalgonda district, Nakrekal and Thungathurthy are reserved for SCs and Devarakonda for STs. Of this, the TRS won Thungathurthy and Devarakonda and the Congress won Nakrekal. But Congress MLA Chirumarthi Lingaiah joined the TRS later. In undivided Nizamabad district, Jukkal is reserved for SCs, which the TRS won. In undivided Warangal district, Station Ghanpur and Wardhannapet seats are reserved for SCs and Dornakal, Mahabubabad and Mulug are reserved for STs. Of this, the TRS won all except Mulug which was won by Seethakka of the Congress.
Secunderabad Cantonment seat is reserved for SCs, which was won by the TRS. In undivided Mahbubnagar district, Achampet and Alampur seats are reserved for SCs, both the TRS won.
In undivided Khammam district, Sathupalli and Madhira are reserved for SCs and Wyra, Aswaraopeta, Yellandu, Bhadrachalam and Pinapaka are reserved for STs. The TRS failed to win a single seat in 2018.
However, Wyra MLA Ramulu Naik who won as an independent candidate joined the TRS later. TDP MLAs from Sathupalli and Aswaraopeta, Sandra Venkata Veeriah and Mecha Nageswara Rao also joined the TRS. Congress MLAs from Yellandu and Pinapaka, Banothu Hari Priya and Rega Kantha Rao also joined the TRS. The remaining one SC and one ST seats are represented by Congress MLAs from Madhira and Bhadrachalam constituencies. So, out of seven reserved seats, five seats are represented by the TRS in Khammam district, although it did not win a single seat.