National

Buoyed by Assembly results, TRS upbeat on poll outcomes

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on April 05, 2019 Published on April 05, 2019

Party confident of securing 15 of the 17 Lok Sabha seats

The first full-fledged general elections to the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana — the youngest and 29th State — appears to be heavily titled in the favour of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

In 2014, elections were held in May. Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh on June 2. The TRS, led by KCR, won 11 of the 17 Lok Sabha seats and 63 of the 119 Assembly seats. Once in power, the party consolidated its strength politically and numerically. Consequently, the TRS swept the Assembly polls held in December 2018, winning 88 seats with its ally MIM winning seven.

An advantage?

Buoyed by its landslide victory, the TRS is upbeat about the April 11 polls. Party’s working president and son of KCR, KT Rama Rao exudes confidence that the TRS will win 15-16 seats. MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi is the favourite for the Hyderabad seat.

A demoralised Congress, absent Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the limited influence wielding BJP have considerably enhanced the chances of the TRS increasing its tally.

Contesting all the 17 seats, the party has denied tickets to four sitting MPs and put up fresh faces such as G Ranjith Reddy, a leading poultry farmer from Chevella, and Marri Rajasekhar Reddy, son in law of Malla Reddy (Malkajgiri).

After his landslide victory in the Assembly polls, KCR has set his eyes on the prime ministerial post in the eventuality of a fractured verdict. The TRS machinery has projected a non-Congress, non-BJP front with KCR as leader.

Within a few weeks into the election mode and sensing the response from regional party leaders such as Mamata Banerjee (TMC), Naveen Patnaik (BJD), MK Stalin (DMK) and Mayawati (BSP), KCR seems to have reconciled to a key role at the national level. He has been maintaining distance from the two national parties.

KCR’s strategy seems to be to support YSR Congress leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy in order to win maximum of the 25 seats in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. This fulfils his objectives — aid in defeating rival Chandrababu Naidu and secure enough seats to pitch for a role at the Centre.

After suffering defeat in the Assembly polls, the Congress has been hit by desertions in its ranks, especially the winning MLAs.

The party lost more than half a dozen of its 19 legislators to the TRS, in addition to a former State minister DK Aruna to the BJP. The only silver lining was the sitting TRS MP from Chevella, Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, joining Congress before the December 2018 Assembly elections.

In 2014, the Congress won two seats, one of whom defected to the TRS.

BJP’s hope

There is confusion about the BJP’s intentions as it is fielding candidates in all 17 seats. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and KCR have an understanding. A vote for the TRS is a vote for the BJP, he claims. Both the parties denied the charge.

The BJP has fielded G Kishen Reddy, its former State president, from the Secunderabad, replacing Bandaru Dattatreya, whom the party also dropped as Minister of Labour.

Asaduddin Owaisi of the AIMIM faces lightweights from the TRS, the Congress and the BJP.

TDP’s prospects

. The last-minute switch by industrialist and former party MP Nama Nageswara Rao to the TRS, means that TDP will not be present in the Telangana elections.. .

Published on April 05, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor