Hyderabad: The Congress which has been badly affected ahead of Lok Sabha elections by defections and desertions of MLAs and other leaders, is likely to lose ground to the BJP which may come in second place in some key Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.
Though the TRS is likely to sweep 16 of the 17 seats, and its ally MIM may get the Hyderabad seat, the BJP and the Congress likely to get second and third places.
The Congress had contested the Assembly elections in December 2018 in alliance with the Telugu Desam, Telangana Jana Samithi and the CPI in 119 Assembly segments, and with the vote share of its allies, the Congress was in the second position in majority of constituencies besides winning 19 seats, with the TD winning two seats.
After the Assembly results, many Congress MLAs defected to the TRS. The TD has decided not to contest the Lok Sabha elections, and the CPI has decided to contest on its own. The Congress thus has to contest all 17 Lok Sabha seats on its own.
The BJP, TRS and also the Congress have absorbed the TD cadres since the party is not contesting Lok Sabha elections in Telangana state.
Congress leaders say privately that it will be difficult for the party to do well in the election considering that tickets have been given to candidates who lost in the Assembly elections recently, instead of giving tickets to newcomers who could have been game changers.
Senior Congress leaders who have defected have preferred to join the BJP rather than the TRS. This was good news for the BJP which has been in search of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections after the debacle in the Assembly elections, with party candidates losing their deposits in 103 seats. The Congress’ D.K. Aruna, Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and former MP Rapolu Anand Bhaskar were given red carpet treatment.
The BJP has also given tickets to G. Kishan Reddy, N. Ramachandra Rao and all Congress defectors, who were defeated in the Assembly elections from Secund-erabad, Malkajgiri and Karimnagar Assembly segments.
With the Congress leaders joining the BJP, the latter is confident that in Mahbubnagar, Karim-nagar, Nizamabad and Secunderabad it can give the TRS a tough fight. In Hyderabad, the BJP has always come second.
Though some Congress leaders still hope to give the TRS a tough fight in all 16 constituencies, others say that the party may come second in 12 to 14 constituencies. Winning will be difficult in view of the defections and desertions and the winning margin of the TRS will likely be higher.
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