With the youngest State in the country going to polls on November 30, for the third time after its formation, people as well as political analysts are keenly evaluating the factors that can influence voting patterns and shape the fortunes of the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), formerly Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

The three planks of the Telangana agitation before the formation of the State in 2014 were water, funds and jobs. How has been the performance of K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR)-led BRS government in living up to people’s demands for filling vacancies in government jobs? Surely, this is going to be one of the influencing factors for the upcoming polls. 

It is a well known fact that with no major government recruitment for over two decades preceding Telangana formation, the expectations were high on the BRS which promised filling up of two lakh vacancies in the State government in the first Assembly elections in the new State in 2014.

However, the promise was unfulfilled at the end of the first term but the young voters were patient enough to turn a blind eye and gave BRS a mandate again.

But now, the scenario looks different. As per the government data, 1,60,083 vacancies were filled during 2014-2023, while 10,116 were filled in the preceding decade in the erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh. Recruitment for 42,552 jobs is now in process. While the numbers look fine, the claim is not likely to be taken seriously by the job-seekers today. 

The reasons are many. Firstly, the promised jobs in the first term were not provided by the government and have been carried forward to the second term. Secondly, the government could not complete the promised recruitment for much-coveted Group 1 and Group 2 services for a variety of reasons including legal challenges, paper-leaks and deviation for procedures in conduct of the examinations by the Telangana Public Service Commission. 

This is attracting the wrath of lakhs of aspirants from the poor family background who stayed in the State capital for years together which caused heavy economic burden. While the Group-2 examination could not be conducted due to postponements, the Group 1 preliminary exam had to be cancelled twice.

Significance of impact

How will this impact voting behaviour? In rural Telangana, families do hope for government jobs and are unlikely to be impressed with the claim that 10 lakh IT jobs are created. According to some estimates, there are about 10-12 lakh government job aspirants and if they are upset, it will have a cascading impact on a larger number of voters which includes the families of these aspirants. So, this may impact the voting decisions of a seizable 40 to 50 lakh population and hence assumes significance. 

Is the ruling BRS govt worried? Apparently, it is. While the State government and BRS remained silent on the demand for ‘revamping’ the TSPSC all along, K T Rama Rao, working president of BRS is now talking of revamping the State Public Service Commission and is also promising the release of a job- calendar every year for filling up vacancies in the government.

It remains to be seen if the unemployed and their families are now ready to give BRS one more term under these challenges. Certainly, the main Opposition parties are also trying to cash in on the situation.