DC Edit | Why elections in Rajasthan, Telangana likely to be historic
The final phase of the five-state Assembly elections, the last of this year, and the penultimate polls before the 2024 general elections to elect the next Lok Sabha, will roll out in Rajasthan and Telangana on November 25 and 30, respectively. And every outcome in each of these two states will make history.
In Rajasthan, like Kerala for a long time (before the Left buckled the trend in the last elections) and Punjab (before the Akalis-BJP alliance retained power a decade ago), people have been booting out the government without exception. No government has been able to retain the trust of people based on performance and delivery to get a second term.
If Rajasthan continues with the trend, and the BJP wins, it will prove that yet again a government has failed to fulfil the aspirations of the people. It would be disappointing because more than what power would mean to political parties, democracy must mean success for people. The BJP is rather certain of a win, and it would be politically amazing, because they would do so without portraying the former chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia as the CM face in the state.
Like in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, the BJP chose to sacrifice the option of projecting a former CM with more than a term in their resume and fight the elections without a concrete promise of who the chief minister would be. This would in turn imply a high possibility that, irrespective of the poll outcome, two veterans are on their political swansong.
If the Congress retains Rajasthan, it would be a trend-buster of a win and, given the Ashok Gehlot-Sachin Pilot face-off marking most of the term, an incredible feat, even if highly unlikely.
In Telangana, there are strong winds seeking change, as per most reports, and if the Congress Party succeeds in unseating the ruling BRS led by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, it would be an amazing political story of a turnaround against the odds, because less than a year ago, the pink party looked like driving its car to power again. If, against such reports of severe anti-incumbency, the BRS can hold on to power, even if in an alliance with the MIM if it falls short, would be a spectacular fightback.
Incidentally, it would make history because no single leader or party has won three consecutive state elections in south India ever. The BRS is trying to seek a hat-trick term for CM KCR based on their track record of a combination of development and welfare, including a pension scheme for senior citizens and Rythu Bandhu, a land owner cash transfer scheme aimed at bringing investment into agriculture, besides the refashioning of Hyderabad into a major metropolis with its rising status one of India’s most investor-friendly cities.
Opposition parties, both Congress and the BJP, blame the BRS government for having been dictatorial, corrupt and dynastic. Several members of the KCR family have enjoyed plum positions, at a time when there are strong headwinds against the BRS, especially for failing to deliver on key promises like free land for dalits, 2BHK homes for all poor families and jobs for youth even after a decade in power.
The Congress hopes several factors, including the leadership of its charismatic new PCC president A. Revanth Reddy and the Bharat Jodo Yatra by Rahul Gandhi with its appeal to voters, especially womenfolk, would help them do what seemed most unlikely not too long ago.