Hyderabad: The Congress-led People's Front was badly defeated and put up a poor fight against the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the assembly elections, whose results were announced today. Two of its constituents, the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) did not even open their accounts.
One of the reasons for the defeat of the Front was that Congress leaders had begun lobbying for the Chief Minister's post rather than campaigning. The Telugu Desam-Congress alliance also did not help matters and the uncertainty among the allies of the Front when it came to seat sharing and the delays in furnishing candidates' lists, was also a factor in the defeat.
While allying with the Telugu Desam was meant to add to the vote count, in actual fact it proved counter-productive. The people of Telangana did not accept the alliance between two parties that have been staunch enemies for the last 35 years.
TRS chief K C Rao and his ministers K T Rama Rao, Harish Rao and others targeted Mr Naidu during the election campaign rather than the Congress, turning the elections into a battle between Mr Rao and Mr Naidu
A senior Congress leader has accepted as much saying, "Yes, due to Naidu's campaign the Congress lost many seats. If we had contested alone the results would have been different. The people did not see the Congress, they only saw Naidu and voted for the TRS."
When the People's Front was formed, it initially gave a boost to the Congress. But the differences among the allies on seat sharing till the last minute, and the delay in announcing the names of Congress candidates, contributed to the defeat of the Congress. By the time the Congress announced its list, TRS candidates had completed the second round of campaigning.
The schemes announced by the People's Front and the Congress also did not attract voters.
Moreover TPCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy did not campaign in the elections. He only appeared with Congress president Rahul Gandhi. The party's star campaigner was Vijayashanthi who campaigned in more than 70 assembly constituencies. Congress leaders concentrated more on becoming Chief Minister than conducting the election campaign.
In the previous assembly elections, the TD and Congress had won a majority of seats in constituencies dominated by settlers. This time, the TRS swept all these constituencies too. The fight of YSRC and Jana Sena with TD in AP helped the TRS in Telangana in getting settlers' votes. In Kukatpally assembly constituency, the Reddy and Kapu community leaders openly extended their support to the TRS. The Reddy community thought that if the Congress-led People's Front won, it would harm the YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh and the Kapu community thought that if the Front won it would harm the Jana Sena in AP. So YSRC and Jana Sena supporters of the Reddy and Kapu communities in Telangana voted for the TRS. The defeat of Front candidates in Kukatpally, Serilimgam-pally, Malkajgiri, Jubilee Hills and Sanathnagar was due to this....