Target LS polls: Congress, BRS and BJP working on strategies to win Telangana

BJP leadership is in an upbeat mood, Congress following its win in Assembly is confident of good performance and BRS is trying to restore its lost prestige in Assembly polls

Hyderabad: Telangana State is witnessing an unusual war of words between ruling Congress and Opposition Bharat Rashtra Samithi.

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Congress, which ousted BRS after two terms in power through “Marpu” (change) slogan, is struggling to set things in order, implement its six and other electoral promises, take action against scams, and irregularities committed during the BRS government, the BRS leadership has launched an offensive against ruling Congress from the day one. Never in the past, did a defeated party launch an offensive against the victor.

Target Lok Sabha polls

All eyes are on the Lok Sabha elections this year. BJP leadership is in an upbeat mood, Congress following its win in Assembly is confident of good performance and BRS is trying to restore its lost prestige in Assembly polls.

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TRS turned BRS which achieved Statehood for Telangana in the avatar of Telangana Rashtra Samithi and ruled the State for nine years under the leadership of K Chandrasekhar Rao is unable to digest Congress win.

BJP sure of big win in LS

BJP on the other hand, which had won 8 assembly seats and stood second in 19 assembly constituencies, is confident of a big win in 17 Lok Sabha constituencies under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose Ram Janma Bhoomi temple inauguration, has taken the country by storm and party leaders hope to cash on the sentiment.

BRS in trouble

While BRS is gearing up for Lok Sabha polls and party working president K T Rama Rao shouldering responsibility of the party in the wake of KCR recovering due to injury and yet to take the oath as MLA (likely on February 1), party MLAs calling up Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy and no confidence motions in local bodies have created uneasiness among the party leaders and cadres.

BRS leadership believes the Revanth Reddy government had won the elections on false promises, will not last long and collapse sooner or later as it will not be able to fulfill its six major promises (KTR puts the number at 420) and others due to financial crunch, shifting of loyalties by some BRS leaders to Congress in local bodies has caused a dent in the major Opposition party in the State.

Like the icing on the cake, BRS scored a psychological win against ruling Congress following Telangana High Court direction to maintain status quo on the notification issued by Governor and the Chief Electoral Officer nominating Telangana leader Prof M Kodanda Ram, president of Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), and journalist Amer Ali Khan as members of Legislative Council under the Governor’s quota.

The stay was granted on petitions filed by BRS leaders Dr Dasoju Sravan Kumar and Kurran Satyanarayana, who were nominated by the BRS government, but the Governor turned it down.

Governor opined that BRS candidates were “not eminent persons and have political affiliation” hence they are not entitled to be nominated as MLC posts.

However, the usual unrest in the BRS after the party lost power, shifting of loyalties in some districts, and dissidence in Sircilla and other places have become worrisome for BRS leaders. Some senior party leaders are still in a state of shock and unable to reconcile for losing in the assembly elections despite “massive development.”

“Maarpu” (change) Congress slogan and public support have devastated the BRS party to no end.

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In fact, the claim of Roads and Buildings Minister Komatireddy Venkat Reddy that 30 odd BRS MLAs were in touch with Congress and may join after Lok Sabha elections created sensation.

In the 119-member assembly strength, Congress is having a borderline majority with 64 MLAs, just four more for a majority and a shift could make or mar the party. BRS has 39 MLAs, BJP 8, AIMIM 7 and CPI 1. Congress has sought MIM support and the party reportedly obliged.

Revolt in BRS municipalities

BRS is facing revolt in 29 Municipalities as no confidence motions have been moved against the Municipal Chairpersons and Mayors. Some have openly announced shifting of loyalties. Though it’s a normal change in the governments of late, it added to BRS’ woes.

There is also a demand in some sections of the party to revert the party name to TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) since it may bring back the lost luck.

Sircilla MLA and BRS working president K T Rama Rao, faced flak from his own party leaders, who quit and joined Congress in Sircilla. He is facing the heat of a no confidence motion by BRS councilors against municipal chairperson Jindam Kala in Rajanna Sircilla district.

Besides, Mustabad mandal ZPTC Gundam Narsaiah, sarpanches from Therulamaddi village Kishan Rao, Avunuru village Kalyani, Morrapur village’s Bhukya Devander, Gannevaripally’s Resu Lakshmi, Sevalal Thanda sapranch Lakavath Srinivas and Venkatraopally sarpanch Lakshman have resigned from the BRS.

BRS MLAs meet

Though CM publicly asserted that it will not encourage poaching of MLAs from rival parties nor thinks his party men will shift loyalties, the recent meeting of some BRS MLAs with CM “as a courtesy call, for constituency development and funds for constituency” created  a stir in political circles.

BRS MLAs V Sunita Lakshma Reddy (Narsapur), K Manik Rao (Zaheerabad), G Mahipal Reddy (Patancheru) and Kotha Prabhakar Reddy (Dubbak), Prakash Goud (Rajendranagar) made a courtesy call on CM and denying media speculation of shifting of loyalties.

In fact, there is a talk that some MLAs sent feelers to Congress to join the party, but the party was not in a hurry to welcome them.

Chief Minister Revanth Reddy summed up the political situation “Some say Congress is not talking about BRS and KCR. The party (BRS) is dead in the State and Telangana people have buried that party. For their survival, the father and son duo are attacking Congress. Now you can understand that BRS and BJP are one,” he remarked at a press meet.

Shifting of loyalties by a couple of MLAs is ruled out as it attracts anti-defection law. A two-third majority is required to clear the hurdle and at present there is no such scenario in BRS.

The only option for MLAs to join another party is suspension from the party, which is usually not done. The anti-defection law is contained in the Tenth schedule of the Constitution.

KTR confident of good performance

Undeterred by the ruling Congress offensive, KTR asserts BRS will do well in the Lok Sabha polls. “Before assembly elections, they called BRS as the B team of BJP. We defeated top BJP leaders. KCR lost to BJP in Kamareddy. It’s chillar talk. To raise Telangana’s voice in parliament, people have to vote for BRS and the pink flag should fly.”

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