BJP may play spoiler for BRS, Congress in several constituencies in Telangana | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

BJP may play spoiler for BRS, Congress in several constituencies in Telangana

By, Hyderabad
Nov 23, 2023 09:28 AM IST

While the BJP has fair chances of winning half-a-dozen assembly seats, it has the potential to spoil the chances of either the BRS or the Congress in at least 15-20 assembly constituencies

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been trying to gain grounds in Telangana as the campaigning for the upcoming assembly elections enters its home stretch, is likely to play spoilsport for the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and the Congress in several constituencies where the two rival parties were hoping they could breeze through, according to political observers monitoring the pulse on the ground.

Union home minister Amit Shah with Union minister and Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy during a road show ahead of Telangana assembly elections, at Nacharam in Medchal-Malkajgiri district on November 20. (PTI)
Union home minister Amit Shah with Union minister and Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy during a road show ahead of Telangana assembly elections, at Nacharam in Medchal-Malkajgiri district on November 20. (PTI)

Polling for the 119-member assembly will be held on November 30 and votes will be counted on December 3, along with other four states — Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram —where voting held on various dates this month.

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The BJP, according to ground reports, could throw surprises on at least 15-20 assembly constituencies, especially the urban pockets in northern Telangana, by playing spoiler for the BRS and the Congress.

A senior Telangana BJP leader, seeking anonymity, said the party had generated a lot of euphoria among the people and the cadre till mid-2023, when former state BJP president Bandi Sanjay undertook padayatra in the name of “Praja Sangrama Yatra” across the state.

“The holding of BJP national executive committee meeting in Hyderabad in July 2022 and frequent visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah to address public rallies in Telangana generated a lot of positive image for the party among the people, as the next best alternative to the BRS,” he said.

But post-Karnataka assembly elections in May 2023, the party seem to lost its momentum and conceded the ground to the Congress. The replacement of Bandi Sanjay with Kishan Reddy has further demoralised the party cadre, the leader said.

However, the groundwork done by the BJP in general, and by Sanjay in particular, in the last two years, has not been completely lost. In many urban constituencies of North Telangana, the BJP could generate a positive talk. The party is likely to decide the fate of the Congress and the BRS candidates, depending on the prevailing situation in those constituencies.

G Muralikrishna, an analyst working with People’s Pulse, a Hyderabad-based political research group, said the BJP can make or mar the prospects of the candidates of Congress and the BRS in at least 20 constituencies. “There will be a triangular contest in these seats and whether it will split the anti-incumbency vote of the Congress or eat into the BRS vote bank depends on the situation prevailing in those constituencies,” he said.

For example, in Kamareddy assembly constituency where BRS president and chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) is fighting a pitched battle against Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief A Revanth Reddy, BJP candidate K Venkata Ramana Reddy, a former Zilla Parishad chairman, is giving a tough contest. “The BJP has been very strong in Kamareddy before KCR announced his candidature and Revanth Reddy entered the scene. In fact, Venkata Ramana Reddy had fair chances of winning the seat had the BRS and the Congress bigwigs not in the fray. If he splits the Reddy votes, KCR will win the seat; but if he eats into the BRS vote bank, it will be advantageous to Revanth Reddy,” said Musku Jaipal Reddy, chairman of a private college in Kamareddy.

A similar situation prevails in several constituencies like Boath, Mudhole, Korutla, Nirmal, Nizamabad (urban), Parkal, Hanamkonda, Maheshwaram, Rajendranagar, Amberpet, Uppal, Medchal, Malkajgiri, Serilingampally, Mahabubnagar, Narayanpet etc.

“In all these constituencies, the BJP has been able to put up a strong fight with the other two parties. One won’t be surprised if the saffron party wins a few of them, if there is a tight finish,” the party leader quoted above said.

The announcement made by prime minister Modi on categorisation of Scheduled Castes to benefit the Madiga sub-group and declaration of an OBC leader as the chief ministerial candidate has also created a positive atmosphere for the BJP in several pockets.

“Irrespective of whether the BJP wins the seats or not, we, Madigas, have decided to vote for the party en masse. We shall show our gratitude to the prime minister,” said Manda Raju, president of Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) of Warangal district unit.

Political analyst Sriram Karri said there is every possibility that the BJP would eat into the vote bank of the BRS, rather than the Congress. “As the things stand now, people appear to have decided to vote against the BRS in majority seats. For them, the Congress appears to be next best option unless they find the BJP candidates stronger than the Congress candidates,” Karri said.

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    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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