Telangana result will impact national politics


(Dr Pentapati Pullarao)

Telangana election strategies

In mathematics and statistics sciences, there is most important theory of “Probability “. This theory simply states that in any event, there are countless probabilities. Anything unexpected can happen and human beings cannot guess them all. 200 years ago, a great French Economist Proudhon said: The fertility of the unpredictable. Proudhon meant that everything is so unpredictable and that man cannot predict what may happen. On December 3, 2023, vote counting will start in Telangana. But no one can predict what will happen. So, we can expect any surprises too. Different political parties have devised different tactics to fight this election.

1. KCR’s main strategies: A. KCR gave Sitting MLAs tickets. This was totally un-expected. There were many un-popular MLAs.  But KCR felt that denying some MLAs would create a very serious rebellion and controversy in public.

B. KCR ran a similar campaign as ion 2018. The main strategy was that KCR won’t Telangana and he did enormous social welfare schemes, and the people of Telangana should not reverse this situation. KCR warned the people that change might reverse everything Telangana achieved. 

C. KCR also claimed that TRS was a regional party and local people know him. But Congress and BJP are national parties and their “remote controls” are in Delhi. KCR said he was a local loader and others were outsider-controlled. 

D. KCR also highlighted his welfare schemes and initiated great innovative ‘Rithu Bandhu “which was the first time in Indian history that farmers got cash-benefits from government. KCR is hopeful that farmers would remember him. KCR has also warned the if other parties came to power farmers would suffer. E. KCR also highlighted his constant fight with Central government for the rights of Telangana.

Congress strategies:

a. Congress has been stressing that it gave Telangana. The Congress Party keeps hammering that people of Telangana must be grateful to it. But  the problem si that KCR contests this claim.

b. Congress has also opened its doors to strong leaders from other parties and gave them tickets. In fact, the Congress also gave some families 2 tickets to satisfy them.

c. Congress has focused on winning the 12% Minority vote.  Congress has highlighted that it is the only party capable of fighting BJP.

d. Congress has also brought out 6 Guarantees, stating that it will immediately give these ‘Guarantees”. The Congress party feels that people vote for economic benefits and that people will forget that KCR has also given such benefits. So, Congress has offered more cash than KCR did.

e. Congress has also focused on bringing national leaders to canvass in Telangana. This is to ensure that local leaders don’t fight for leadership role and are quiet.

f. Congress has also reached out to some castes among settlers. This is obvious in districts like Khammam and Nalgonda district, where many settlers live.

g. Congress is also carrying out an intense campaign on social media against KCR. The Congress tries to portray the election as only between KCR and Congress says that election is only between the Congress and KCR and that BJP is not in the race. The aim of the Congress is to ensure that anti-KCR votes come to it.

h. Congress has also managed to see that many dissatisfied leaders don’t create problems. A serious effort was made to satisfy them and ensure there is little sabotage.

i. Congress is trying to say that like in Karnataka where it has a government, it will implement all Guarantees immediately after the election.

j. Congress made efforts to exude confidence by saying that there will be a swearing in on 9th. December 2023. The Congress created a lot of confidence by its words and actions that it is sure of winning. This naturally makes fence-sitters jump to the Congress  side.

k. The Congress has also not declared a Chief Minister -candidate so as to avoid caste wars or rebellion among leaders.

BJP strategies:

a. The BJP has been very active in Telangana since 2019 parliament election. The main thrust of the BJP is that KCR is a corrupt dynasty. BJP national leaders constantly repeat such allegations.b. The BJP has also stressed different achievements of Modi government. BJP points out the investment in infrastructure and welfare schemes in Telangana.

c. BJP has made conscious efforts to win the Tribal population. Since KCR party and Congress is flooded with traditional leaders, there is no space there for tribal leaders and BJP has created space for them.

d. BJP has also resorted to intense social engineering. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached out and assured that he will sort out the 30-year struggle of Madiga community, who many number 7% of Telangana population. No doubt, reaching out to Madigas is a long-term gain. But it remains doubtful whether it will pay dividends in the present assembly election.e. BJP has also made major announcements on ‘ Pasupu board ‘, Tribal university and other things.  What will happen on December 3, 2023? There is a difference between what is ‘Probable “and what is “possible”. A computer can give you thousands of “probabilities ‘in the election results of Telangana. But there are only a few ‘possibilities “. 

a. KCR gets a majority or KCR gets a near majority and MIM supports him to form a government.

b. Congress gets a majority. If the Congress gets more MLAs than KCR, then MIM will support the Congress. Owaisi will support whoever gets more MLAs.

c. BJP gets a majority. As much as BJP is claiming a majority, it looks very difficult. But the BJP will surely do better than it did in 2018 assembly elections.

d. The only way that there will be a Hung House is if the BJP gets more than 25 MLAs. Then of course, it is possible that KCR and Congress will come to an agreement to avoid the BJP. KCR would not like to take BJP support for fear of the Minorities.

e. If KCR gets more MLAs than Congress, the Congress will not co0me in the way of KCR forming a government, saying it will give “issue based” support. f. For the first time since Independence, a government may be formed with MIM- Owaisi support. The MIM is sure to win 7 MLAs. So, it depends on how the other parties divide the rest of the seats. If Telangana election was between 2 parties as it was during united Andhra days, when there was only the Congress and TDP, predictions would have been easy. But this time, there are 4 active parties and some smaller parties like BSP, Left parties, etc. One key question how much the BJP has grown from 2018, when it got only 6% of the vote and then in 2019 Parliament election, BJP got 20% of the vote. BJP will cut into the votes of both the Congress and KCR. But results will depend on how much strength BJP shows. For KCR, victory is critical. If KCR loses, then in opposition he will face 2 national parties and that it s a very difficult situation. The other regional parties are watching with worry whether Congress will defeat KCR. Telangana results will have a big impact on 2024 parliament elections.

(Author is a Delhi based political analyst and economist)


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