Hyderabad Top Stories

Political parties getting ready for election in AP and Telangana

Political parties getting ready for election in AP and Telangana

Hyderabad: Political parties seem to be already in an election mode in both the Telugu States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh though the battle royal is two years away scheduled to be held in 2019.
While the ruling parties in both the states — TRS in Telangana and TDP in Andhra Pradesh — are on a firm and sound footing, the respective Chief Ministers K. Chandrasekhar Rao and N. Chandrababu Naidu are undoubtedly worried about a possible backlash due to various omissions and commissions. As a matter of fact both the CMs are not so naïve as not to understand or gauge the growing undercurrents among different sections of the people for reasons which might be beyond the control of the powers that be but at the same time which have come in handy for their detractors to exploit and show them in poor light.
Thus against this prevailing political scenario, Telangana CM has already taken the first step in sounding the war bugle, not once but twice within a span of few days, to prepare his pink brigade to be ready for the elections, whenever it is held, to ensure that the TRS flag continues to flutter in the state. During the recent party plenary held to commemorate the 16th Foundation Day of TRS, KCR emphasized the need for the party leaders at all levels like Ministers, MPs, MLAs, MLCs etc., to relentlessly strive to educate the electorate about commitment of the TRS Government for the development of the state and welfare of the people, especially the poor and downtrodden.
KCR once again put the onus on the people at a public meeting held on Thursday at Warangal to give a fitting reply to the Opposition, especially the Congress and the TDP, for trying to create hurdles in the government’s efforts in launching many a developmental and welfare programmes. Apart from giving a clarion call for “burying” the Opposition in the state, KCR also tried to prove that his government was not blowing its own trumpet but was serious in implementing various welfare measures. As part of this strategy, he was doling out various sops. One of the major step in this direction was enhancing the reservation for muslim minorities to 12 percent from the present 8 percent. For this he even convened a special session of the Legislature to enact a Bill. Another voting catching policy announced by him was granting of seed money of Rs.8000 to each farmer to be deposited in their accounts in two installments for the rabi and kariff season for purchase of seeds, fertilizers, insecticides etc. Since majority of people in the state are farmers, this was a very calculated move on the part of KCR to consolidate his vote bank among this section.
However the Chief Minister was at the receiving end for failing to fulfill various election promises, which has particularly antagonized the unemployed youth. There is no denial of the fact that the youth and students had played a pivotal role during the separate Telangana movement and had infact pinned their hopes for employment in the new state. However, the TRS Government has failed in this direction. Likewise the Chief Minister had promised to build two-bed-room houses to the poor by asserting that there will be no slums in the state and people would be provided with a decent place to live. Even in this regard, KCR’s promise remained on paper only as only few houses were constructed and that too in his Assembly constituency. The farming sector is also not very happy in not getting minimum support price for their produce. The conditions prevailing in government hospitals is appalling. The increase in the number of maternity deaths in government hospitals has enraged the women in the rural areas.
Though the government is claiming to attend to these issues and take remedial measures, the Congress, the TDP and even the BJP of late began targeting the government. The Congress, which has been decimated in the state and striving hard to make its presence felt, has suddenly began acting as the Messiah of the oppressed and harassed. The party recently held district level meetings in both the states which were attended by senior central party leaders where it was decided to take on the TRS and TDP Governments in Telangana and AP respectively on important matters concerning the people.
As part of this strategy to “expose the failures” of both the governments, the Congress leaders have been organsing rallies, dharnas and various agitational programmes on behalf of the students, farmers etc. The Telugu Desam Party on the other hand, which has been virtually reduced as a non-entity after its party legislators defected to ruling TRS, has been mostly confined to verbal attack on the KCR Government. The BJP, following its national party’s impressive performances winning election after election in five states and also in the recent Delhi Municipal Corporation elections, is playing its cards diligently to win over the electorate. Though its base and cadre is mostly confided to the urban area the party is trying to spread its wings in the rural areas to win over the confidence of the masses. While the saffron party is banking on the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to spread its tentacles in various parts of the state, it is bogged down by internal squabbles. It is a well known fact that the State BJP President K. Laxman and Floor Leader in the Assembly G. Kishan do not see eye to eye and both seem to be working in tangent in projecting themselves as influential and powerful leaders of the party.
One cannot ignore the fact here that while it is a one-man show in TRS as KCR is the undisputed and supreme authority around whom the party revolves and survives, it would be foolhardy to think that the pink party is an impregnable fort. Though as of now there seems to be no major threat to the party and its leadership, one cannot ignore the fact that undercurrents are surfacing within the party what with the presence of a sizeable number defectors from Congress and TDP who were lured by KCR to join TRS with the promise of rewarding them suitably. Thus many of these defectors have been waiting in the wings to get some plum posts but KCR seem to be in no hurry to reward them as of now. Therefore one cannot rule out the possibility of these defectors hoisting a banner of revolt against KCR at the time of elections if they are denied party tickets. Moreover those TRS loyalists who had contested against these defectors lost are expecting the party tickets in coming elections. Thus KCR would be facing a tricky situation at the time of elections in containing any rebellion within the party during the time of distribution of party tickets.
Also there were speculations that KCR’s nephew and Irrigation Minister T. Harish Rao has been sulking over the Chief Minister’s recent action in giving utmost prominence and importance to his son and IT Minister K.T Rama Rao. Though these were dispelled as figment of imagination of the media, the Congress seem to find an opportunity to exploit a possible family feud to its advantage. Another thorn in the flesh for TRS and its leadership is Prof. M. Kodandaram, whose TJAC has played a major role in bringing on one platform all the employees to support the cause of separate Telangana. There is no denial of the fact that it is now a case of friends turning foes with regard to the relationship between KCR and Kodandaram. This too has also come as a suitable weapon for the beleaguered Congress to make full use of the sulking TJAC Chairman.
In the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh state the TDP Supremo and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, despite being in an unenviable position, too is not completely out of any political turmoil. He too has consolidated his political strength in the state by encouraging defections in YSRCP, the main opposition party in the state. There is no denial of the fact that the Leader of the Opposition and President of YSR Congress Party, Jagan Mohan Reddy, is the thorn in the flesh for Naidu. As a matter of fact TDP has escaped from being mauled in the last elections by YSR Congress, thanks to the support extended by the BJP and even Film Star and Founder President of Jana Sena Party Pawan Kalyan.
Apart from dissensions steadily growing in the ruling TDP, Chandrababu Naidu is facing a rough weather on various issues confronting the people, especially with regard to the demand for Special Category Status for the state as was promised during the passage of the AP Reorganization Bill 2014 and promised by then PM Manmohan Singh. However for reasons best known to himself, Chandrababu Naidu seemed to have compromised with the central government in this aspect much to the chagrin of the people of the state.
Though BJP as an ally joined the TDP Government in the state, many state party leaders seem to be toying with the idea of going it alone in the 2019 elections. As if to rub slat to the injury, Pawan Kalyan too has launched a tirade against the TDP on the issue of Specual Category Status besides declaring that he would also enter the election fray in 2019. Though the Congress has been completely decimated in the state, is silently moving its pawns diligently to win over the people by taking up their cause on many fronts.
However despite all these minor irritants being faced by the ruling TRS and TDP in Telangana and AP states, both the Chief Ministers Chandrasekhar Rao and Chandrababu Naidu seem to having no major threat from their political opponents. But not to take things lightly, both are going out of their ways to dole out sops and announcing various welfare measures to attract the electorate. At the same time, the opposition parties in both the states, knowing fully well that it would be an herculean task to take on the two CMs have been busy planning various strategies to face the coming elections. It is learnt that the Congress, TDP and YSRCP are in consultation with well known professional strategists , planners and advertising consultants to chalkout their poll plans in advance. (NSS).