BRS to turn up heat on Congress in poll run-up
Revanth Reddy, Rahul Gandhi in BRS\' cross hairs
Hyderabad: The daily dressing down that Congress receives in Telangana from the BRS may have drawn lines as to who the ruling party sees as its primary, and even only rival in the Assembly elections.
If sources in the BRS are anything to go by, the attacks on the opposition party are only expected to get more trenchant. In the process, the achievements of the BRS government over the past nine and a half years could well take a back seat, of sorts, as the BRS poll campaign gains momentum.
Led by BRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, the ruling party has not been leaving any opportunity, and is even creating opportunities, to pile on as much embarrassment on the Congress as possible, targeting the opposition party’s state president A. Revanth Reddy in particular, and the opposition star campaigners, including Rahul Gandhi.
“Why not,” a senior BRS leader said on Thursday. “It is the Congress that is responsible for all the ills that plagued Telangana for decades before the state was formed in 2014. Yes, we have been in power for almost 10 years and have done a lot. But we have to remind people about the struggle to overcome the challenges and problems left unattended by Congress for more than 50 years,” the leader said.
In the process, a bit of ‘Telangana sentiment’ might get evoked, an emotion that has worked well for the BRS in the last two elections in 2014, and in 2018, but more importantly, it is all about discrediting the Congress before it can gain any more traction among the people and project itself as a viable alternative to the BRS party.
“As far as we are concerned, the BJP is no longer in contention but that does not mean we are not paying attention to it. But it is the Congress that people need to be informed about. It is all about repeatedly telling people of how that party failed them for generations and how it will destroy the better future for which the BRS laid hard-earned foundations for in the past ten years,” the BRS leader said.
With most of the focus — be that of the Chief Minister, or senior party leaders K.T. Rama Rao, T. Harish Rao, and the rest of the BRS team — staying firm on dismantling the Congress narrative of it being the alternative and its allegations of corruption by the BRS government, attention has been going somewhat adrift with respect to the BRS government’s achievements on various fronts.
Though in public meetings there have been quick references to how the party’s government fulfilled ‘99 per cent’ of its promises, the Congress has been going hammer and tongs on how schemes like Dalit Bandhu, two bedroom houses, filling vacancies in the government, among other things, were not kept.
One ruling party leader said that while BRS will continue speaking about its achievements, each time it talks about them, including its success on the irrigation and drinking water front, or welfare schemes such as Dalit Bandhu, the opposition begins pointing out where these have not been fully implemented, and highlights ‘motivated protests’ by some claiming that they have been left out by local BRS leaders who are taking money to pick beneficiaries. This being the case, BRS leaders feel that the best approach is to tie its programmes also to Congress’ failures in the past.
“We will win, there is no doubt about that,” a minister said, adding “but this time, the winning margins might be thinner and to prevent any further haemorrhaging we will go after the Congress.”