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Amidst Early Polls Rumours, TRS, Congress Firming Up Battle

Amidst speculations about early elections in Telangana, parties are gearing up to not leave any stone unturned to win the upcoming battle.
Hyderabad | 23rd August 2018
Amidst persisting speculations about early elections in Telangana, political parties are gearing up to not leave any stone unturned to win the upcoming battle royale whenever it happens.

As per schedule, elections are slated to be held in April / May 2019 in Telangana. However speculations have been floating for quite some time about the possibility of the elections being advanced in the state. Apart from Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao hinting at the possibility of early elections, even Governor E S L Narasimhan suggested to AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu that the TRS government was toying with the idea.

However, opinion seem to be divided in the ruling TRS about advancing the elections. While KCR seems to be favouring early elections believing that there is a feel-good atmosphere among the people due to all the welfare schemes launched by his party, senior party leaders including some ministers seem to feel otherwise based on sentiments that early elections had sounded the death knell for ruling parties in the past.

For example, advancing the elections in undivided Andhra Pradesh in the past had led to the downfall of a Congress government headed by Kotla Vijaybhaskar Reddy and later a TDP government headed by N T Rama Rao. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee had tasted defeat when his NDA government at the Centre was trounced after his party advanced the Lok Sabha polls, which also resulted in the downfall of the Chandrababu Naidu government in the then undivided AP.

Thus opinion seemed to be divided in the TRS though the Chief Minister seems confident about his party's prospects. Will the sentiments of the party leaders prevail over the confidence of the Chief Minister is the big question being debated in political circles as of now.

Meanwhile both the ruling TRS and the main opposition party the Congress are busy formulating their respective strategies for the upcoming elections. The TRS has already made it clear that it would go it alone. The Congress is still grappling with the idea of forging alliances with like-minded parties. The TDP is also not averse to having an understanding with the Congress as it feels that the TRS has a soft corner for the BJP. Considering its bitter rivalry with BJP following the fiasco over Special Category Status to AP, the TDP seems prepared to take on the TRS for hobnobbing with the BJP, by forging an alliance with the Congress.

As a prelude to what promises to be a hectic election campaign, both the TRS and the Congress are engaged in shows of strength by planning massive public rallies. The Congress has already tried to show its might with the two-day visit of AICC President Rahul Gandhi who addressed a huge public rally on the outskirts of the city besides interacting with OU students, unemployed youth and women's organizations. The Gandhi scion's visit has undoubtedly boosted the morale and confidence of the party's cadre.

Not to lag behind in exhibiting its own might, the TRS has planned a massive rally of 25 lakh people on September 2. KCR has asked his cabinet colleagues and party leaders to ensure that the public rally becomes one of the biggest of its kind in history and thus showcases the party's strength to the country. The Chief Minister will also submit a progress report at the rally about his government's various welfare and developmental programs launched during the last four and half years.

The Congress is also planning to invite Rahul Gandhi once again to address more rallies in the coming days. Efforts are also being made to invite UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to visit the state and address public rallies.

Both the TRS and the Congress also are keenly aware that the votes of the "settlers" will be very crucial in the elections. There are sizeable settlers in many pockets of the state, especially in some Assembly segments in the GHMC limits, and the Nizamabad, Ranga Reddy and Khammam districts. Taking into view this important vote bank, both parties are working out strategies to woo them by offering various sops and incentives. One cannot ignore the fact that these settlers have a soft corner for the TDP and can be called vote banks of the party. This is also one of the reasons that the Congress wants to forge an alliance with the TDP. The TRS on its part is also trying to entice the settlers by offering them lucrative posts and even giving their leaders tickets to contest from the seats where the settlers are in considerable numbers.
filed in:  Telangana, Elections, Assembly Elections, KCR, Telangana Congress, TRS, TDP
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