BRS Faces Warangal Crisis as Electorate Wants to Give Chance to Others

Hyderabad: A curious phenomenon has gripped the electorate in the erstwhile combined Warangal district, with voters saying that they want to choose a different party, not because of the government’s poor performances, but to gauge what others had to offer them.

The ruling BRS faces an uphill task in repeating its 2018 Assembly polls performance, with Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao's move to retain all sitting MLAs not sitting well with the electorate.

In the face of severe anti-incumbency after their successive victories for two terms, the Congress appears to have gained ground considerably in the district.

The combined Warangal district has a total of 12 Assembly constituencies: Station Ghanpur (SC), Palakurthi, Dornakal (ST), Jangaon, Mahabubabad (ST), Narsampet, Parkal, Warangal West, Warangal East, Waradhanapet (SC), Bhupalpalle and Mulugu (ST).

In the 2018 Assembly polls, the BRS won 10 of 12 seats, losing Bhupalapalle and Mulugu to the Congress. Subsequently, Bhupalapalle MLA Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy jumped ship to the BRS within six months of the elections.

While combined Warangal has been considered a BRS bastion since the formation of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi in 2001, a visit by Deccan Chronicle found that voters were looking for a “change”, not because of BRS’ performance, but because they want to give “chance” to other parties. When asked about which “other party” they were looking at, the common answer was Congress.

A majority of the electorate, while receiving the BRS government’s benefits of Aasara pensions, Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima, free power to agriculture and Rs.1 per kg ration rice, still want to opt for a different party.

Some, however, expressed displeasure with the BRS for failing to deliver on the promise of 2BHK houses, Dalit Bandhu, BC Bandhu and Gruha Lakshmi schemes, alleging irregularities in the selection of beneficiaries.

G. Prem Kumar, a voter in Warangal West constituency, who works as a hotel incharge in Hanamkonda, said, “We have elected BRS MLA Dasyam Vinay Bhaskar four times in 2009, 2014 and 2018 general elections and 2010 bypolls. I want to give opportunity to Congress this time.”

In Palakurthy constituency, from where minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao has been contesting, being elected six times since 1994, voters say they want to give a chance to 26-year-old Congress candidate Mamidila Yashaswini Reddy, a debutant.

“There is nothing against BRS or Errabelli. Both did a lot of good work in the past 10 years. Since, we have elected Errabelli six times, we feel it's better to give a chance to Congress this time,” said Satyamma, a tailor by profession.

A common complaint against BRS legislators was about alleged land grabbing by the MLAs or their associates.

“Warangal and Hanamkonda continue to witness frequent flooding every year under the BRS regime. This was not the case earlier. The flooding is due to indiscriminate encroachment of lakes by BRS leaders and their henchmen. KTR visited Warangal and Hanamkonda several times and promised to clear the encroachments, but nothing was done,” said Kotagiri Santosh, the president of an autorickshaw drivers’ union in Thorrur.

The BRS’ repeated pleas for votes to ensure retention of the Dharani portal failed to strike a chord with voters, who questioned the logic of losing aid from government schemes. They say Dharani caused several hardships as there was no provision to correct errors in land records at the local level and they were forced to make rounds of collectorates or CCLA office in Hyderabad.

“It's the Congress which introduced free power to agriculture in 2004 and extended nine-hour power till 2014. Why would it scrap free power or restrict it to three hours? We feel Revanth Reddy's comments on this issue were misinterpreted,” said Narsimhulu, a farmer in Wardhannapet.

Despite the BRS government merging TSRTC with the state government, employees were not convinced.

“This was done only recently, just before the Assembly polls, and we are yet to derive the benefit out of this. The government has kept 11 DAs pending for years and cleared nine DAs recently before poll notification. Our PRC is also pending. Employees’ unions in TSRTC were abolished, which is an undemocratic move,” a Palakurthy native, who works as a conductor, said on condition of anonymity.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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