Going by the number of Lok Sabha seats (17 seats), Telangana should not be getting much attention in national politics. But both the NDA and INDIA alliances are betting big on this State. For BJP, it is the second-biggest base in the South after Karnataka. As it hopes to capture as many seats in the South to make up for any losses in the North, it is trying to double the tally of four from the 2019 election to Parliament.

The State is going to the polls on May 13, along with its sister State, Andhra Pradesh, in the fourth phase of general elections.

Seat Target

The Congress party, which leads the INDIA bloc, is trying to ride on the recent victory in the State Assembly election. The party, which won three seats in the previous LS elections, is targeting to win 12-14 seats.

For the BRS, which won nine seats in the last elections, it’s an opportunity to rebuild the morale of the cadre.

Unlike in other States, the campaign has started late in Telangana. Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off the party’s campaign a month ago by participating in a rally in Secunderabad, the party’s campaign is largely confined to 3-4 constituencies. 

After attending three big rallies, BRS President K Chandrashekar Rao has decided to start a bus yatra across the State to improve the sagging morale of the party. After suffering a humiliating defeat in December 2023, the party witnessed an exodus of senior leaders, including Dalit leader Kadiyam Srihari and OBC leader K Keshava Rao, who joined the Congress. Several MLAs and MPs in the outgoing House too openly showed allegiance to the Congress. 

Political scientist G Haragopal said the Congress party might have an edge in the State. “Since it is only three months (since they won the Assembly election), I think that the momentum will continue. People won’t change so fast,” he said.

Stalled Promises

However, it is not going to be a cakewalk for the Congress. The party has not initiated the process to honour the promise of waiving the ₹2-lakh loans for farmers and giving a bonus of ₹500 a quintal on paddy purchases.

The BRS President has launched a scathing attack on the Congress party for making false promises concerning the farm loan waiver and the bonus on paddy purchases.

Quickly realising its fallout, Chief Minister and PCC President A Revanth Reddy announced that the government would complete the loan waiver process by August 15, 2024.

Campaign Momentum

BJP’s senior leaders, Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, and a host of Central and Chief Ministers, are expected to campaign for the BJP in the next three weeks as it is attempting to increase its tally to 8 from four in the last elections. 

The Congress, too, is drawing its top leaders — Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi — to the State to consolidate the gains that it made in the 2023 Assembly elections.