Upcoming Telangana MLC polls a prestige issue for the TRS

Hyderabad: Elections to the state legislative council barely make noise, as it involves only a tiny sliver of the electorate. However, the upcoming polls to two MLC (member of Legislative Council) seats is witnessing a lot of friction, as it has become a matter of also winning the perception battle for the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

In the upcoming MLC elections are being seen as a direct contest between the ruling TRS and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been in a strong position ever since it won 55 seats (out of 150) in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections last year. It also shocked the TRS and won the Dubbak by-poll before that.

“There are only 5.5 lakh graduate voters in the 43 assembly seats that under the in Hyderabad-Mahbubnagar-Rangareddy districts for one seat. Though it is insignificant, the BJP will make noise as if there is some wave going on in the country. Similarly, if it loses, it will create a negative perception among people,” said a TRS leader who did not want to be quoted.

In Telangana, the BJP has been steadily rising since the 2018 assembly elections, when it won just one seat (out of 119). The saffron party managed to win four Lok Sabha seats (out of 17) in the 2019 general elections, and later went on to the Dubbak by-poll, apart from putting up an impressive performance in the GHMC elections.

Until the BJP’s growth, the Congress was considered to be the main opposition party in the state. While it still has a considerable influence, how much of its vote share and popularity it still has across Telangana is questionable as of now.

A steady exodus of defections from it to the TRS has also been a major reason for the Congress’s decline. Post the 2018 state elections, wherein the TRS won 88 seats and the BJP 1, 12 out of 19 Congress MLAs defected to the ruling party.

When asked if winning the MLC elections is a matter prestige this time, BJP’s Telangana chief spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said, “We are trying to push for every inch. It all depends on which party’s works towards converting opinion into votes. We will be working to ensure that Ramchander Rao retains his seat.”

Rao added that TRS’s candidate Vani Devi, who is a daughter of former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, will not “have any draw as she is new”. will try to use its organisational skills for the same, which we cannot say the same about. The candidate will not have any draw, as she is new. 

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