The political heat is fast picking up in Telangana State. However, there is a noticeable catch to it. The signals that are emanating is that some parties are fast gaining momentum while some seem lost in the wilderness to the point they are yet to zero in on a potent starting point.
For all practical purposes, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) are gaining a gradual foothold with their respective head-starts as a run up to the big battles ahead-the 2019 Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
The supposedly main opposition party, the Congress, caught on the throes ego-ridden struggle for one-upmanship within, is yet to get a foothold into the electoral practicalities while the Telangana unit of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is still groping in the dark.
Both the TRS and BJP are preparing a roadmap on taking forward the party organization and their proposed welfare measures. As far as BJP is concerned, the steam is likely to pick up soon after Amit Shah visits Telangana in the next couple of months.
But the situation of Congress and TDP is in terrible shape. While the Congress is finding it difficult to create a strong base due to a lack of strong leadership both at the state and central level, the TDP has virtually vanished from the scene.
Though the TTDP Working President A Revanth Reddy and others like R Chandrasekhar Reddy and S Venkata Veeraiah have been struggling for the past two years to boost the prospects of the yellow party’s revival. Now it appears a seemingly improbable task.
With no possibility of tagging on to the saffron party in Telangana as the BJP has decided to go it alone, the party is virtually left redundant in the Telangana electoral battle, which has made worse by its inability to make a mark in the State.
Though, on its part, it did take up several agitations, all such efforts failed to bring in any gains for the party because of the counter-strategies unleashed by the TRS. The Pink party has ensured that the yellow flag does not raise its head anytime in the immediate future.
Though some leaders like Erabelli Dayakar Rao, who migrated to TRS are not very happy and feel that they have not been given due importance, they are in no position for any meaningful home-coming, given the bleak prospects that await the TDP.
In this sorry situation and without no signs of making any potential amends, the party is scouting for a political partner towards which it has been exploring the preposterous option on forging an understanding with the Congress party. NTR would surely be turning in his grave at this eventuality.
However, the Congress, which at one stage did contemplate to sail along with TDP to ensure its own comeback, is believed to have cold shouldered the proposal.
The main problem for TDP apart from lack of leadership and near total erosion of cadre is that it does not even have strong issues to take on the well-entrenched TRS. In fact the ruling party has ensured that TDP is kept out of the Assembly for most part of proceedings during the last three years.
In the absence of a viable roadmap, the TDP, for all practical purposes, has hit a dead-end. The party which expected some strategies from the national president N Chandrababu Naidu is left high and dry as Naidu is busy fighting his political rival YS Jaganmohan Reddy on the one hand and is trying to ensure that he retains the support of various castes. While caste politics in Andhra is very strong, the advantage KCR has is that it is almost non-existent.
The TTDP leaders, most notably Revanth Reddy, expressed concern that voters were getting distanced from the party after Naidu moved over to Vijayawada. Building an alternative power-structure, at this late stage is a remote possibility.
Naidu has time and again exhorted local leaders to hone the people-winning skills by emerging as strong leaders in their individual capacities. Adding to the woes, most loyalists are falling prey to ‘Operation Akash’ that has been unleashed by TRS.