LS Polls: BRS Faces Uphill Task, Congress, BJP Hope to Sweep

HYDERABAD: The two national parties — the Congress and the BJP — are slowly gearing themselves up for yet another round of pitched battle as they start exercises to position themselves as the perfect choice for voters to elect their candidates from Telangana in the coming Lok Sabha elections. The BRS, still reeling from the shock of a defeat in the Assembly polls, is faced with an uphill task.

The BRS currently holds nine of the 17 seats in the Lok Sabha from the state, followed by the BJP, with four, the Congress, which had three, and the AIMIM, with one.

In the coming general elections, the Congress wants to build on its Assembly election success and win most, if not all, of the 17 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP has made it clear that it plans to more than at least double its count in the Lok Sabha from Telangana, from its current four, and has a higher target, of 10 seats.

The BRS, as per initial estimates and surveys, might, at best, win one or two seats, though the two national parties would like to work towards reducing it to a cypher.

In the 2019 elections, the BRS, for all practical purposes, left the Hyderabad seat to its friendly partner, the AIMIM, which the latter went on to win. This time too, the BRS is expected to follow the same plan.

But the MIM will find it a hard fight too, given its recent showing in the state elections, where it faced a tough fight in at least four of its seven key Assembly seats, which it went on to eventually win.

The BRS, which won from Chevella, Peddapalle, Zaheerabad, Khammam, Warangal, Mahbubabad, Nagarkurnool, Mahbubnagar, and Medak seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, did not win in the recent Assembly elections even a single MLA segment in Khammam, Peddapalle, and Mahbubnagar. In Warangal and Mahabubabad, it won just one each, followed by two each in Zaheerabad and Nagarkurnool. It, however, did better in Medak, winning six of the seven segments, and got four in Chevella.

With BRS doing exceedingly well in urban Assembly segments, the pink party is hoping to put up a fight for the Malkajgiri seat, currently held by the Congress, and repeat its performance in Medak in the coming elections.

However, BRS sources said that with the Congress having its tail up after its success in the Assembly elections, the party very likely will face a tough challenge to retain its nine seats from the last elections.

The BRS is learnt to be making plans to announce its Lok Sabha candidates quickly and has already said its sitting MP from Chevella, Ranjith Reddy, will contest the coming elections. Though the BRS adopted a similar strategy in the Assembly elections, it did not pay dividends, with it managing to send to the Assembly only 39 MLAs, compared to 64 for the Congress.

With the BJP too hoping to ride on its performance in the recent Assembly elections — the party won 8 seats and came second in 19 other constituencies — it has set itself a target of winning at least 10 Lok Sabha seats.

With the Congress and BJP on a high, and the BRS coming out of its losses in the state polls, the coming Lok Sabha elections are expected to witness another round of pitched electoral battle in the state among the three parties.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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