Hyderabad: The bitterly divisive and polarised election campaign in Gujarat is likely to reflect in the Telangana Assembly elections. The main tussle here will be between the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti and the Congress, with the Telugu Desam being marginalised and the Bharatiya Janata Party unable to expand to the rural areas yet.
Sensing the mood, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has started wooing various sections of the electorate. Meetings of BC organisations have been organised to garner their support.
Talk of the TRS forming a pre-poll alliance with the BJP is now completely ruled out as the Chief Minister does not want to lose the 12 per cent Muslim minority vote to the Congress.
While the main opposition Congress party is yet to reach out to various sections for their support, the TRS has already started the exercise.
Over 80 per cent of the population consists of SC, ST, BCs and Minority communities and the Chief Minister has to consider their issues. But he also has to consider influential sections of the forward classes such as Brahmins and Vysyas.
It is a known fact that the Reddys, who constitute around eight per cent of the population, will side with the Congress with which they have had a long association.
The Congress will also try to take along other small political parties and organisations that are presently scattered, in order to engage in a one-on-one fight with the TRS.
The Congress is also trying to garner support from SCs, STs some sections of BCs and the minorities, which used to be traditional vote banks of the party but turned against it in the last elections.
According to a senior leader of the TRS, Mr Chandrasekhar Rao will intensify his efforts to get more support from different backward sections in the state by announcing more sops in the coming budget, which will be presented on the eve of the 2019 election.
He will also see that Mission Bhagiratha is completed by next year so that it can be showcased as a major achievement of the TRS government.
Even the TRS cadre admits that there is no considerable achievement on the promise of 2BHK housing scheme as the Congress has been pointing out. What the TRS is banking on to win the next elections is the 24X7 power supply to agriculture, and Rs 8000 investment subsidy per crop to each and every farmer, which will come into effect from next year. These will be the biggest game changers in rural areas of the state that constitute 60 per cent of Assembly constituencies.
The Congress is targeting the youth and unemployed, hammering away at the lack of jobs and recruitment in the newly formed state. The Congress is also banking on the support of TJAC chairman Prof. Kodandaram.
As far as winnability of candidates is concerned, the TRS' top leaders say that Mr Rao is getting weekly reports on the ground level political situation and will not hesitate to change sitting MLAs if he thinks they cannot win. The Congress is still organisationally weak in urban areas that constitute around 40 to 45 seats, especially in the Hyderabad Metropolitan area.
The BJP, according to insiders, has not managed to penetrate into rural areas, and its influence is confined to urban pockets.
BJP president Dr K Laxman is confident that BJP national president Amit Shah will now focus on Telangana state and work to make the BJP the alternative to the TRS in the state....