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Of claims, hopes and touch-and-go electorate

Of claims, hopes and touch-and-go electorate
Highlights

With the festival of lights over and the sounds of crackers subsiding, the stage is set for noholdsbarred outburst of leaders who are in the final stage of sharpening their arsenal and the noise and cacophony would be much higher than Diwali crackers

With the festival of lights over and the sounds of crackers subsiding, the stage is set for no-holds-barred outburst of leaders who are in the final stage of sharpening their arsenal and the noise and cacophony would be much higher than Diwali crackers.

As far as the pink party is considered, the responsibility of the campaign has been distributed between the three-top leaders, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K Chandrashekar Rao, caretaker Ministers K T Rama Rao and T Harish Rao. The TRS chief has directed his star campaigners to target AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu more and more and hopes that this would help in rekindling the sentiment factor which can help the party to overcome the undercurrent of anti-incumbency.

The delay that is taking place in finalisation of seat sharing between the Congress and other alliance partners has come handy for the TRS to launch a tirade against them. How can a group of parties which cannot decide on sharing of seats think of ruling a State? Well to some extent, this is a valid argument. The delay in announcing the candidates is leading to greater confusion among the rank and file of the Congress and the candidates are losing precious time while the TRS candidates have already completed one round of campaign.

The latest missile against the alliance is, can leaders who have been making rounds of AICC and Chandrababu Naidu take independent decisions to fulfil the aspirations of the people of Telangana? If they come to power, things will be back to square one, is the argument being put forward by the TRS top leaders.

This argument is going to become much more vociferous once Chandrashekar Rao re-launches his campaign. The pink party is putting more attention in about 40 constituencies including districts like old Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar, Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad. Chandrashekar Rao is going to personally focus attention on these constituencies.

During the festival period starting from Dasara to Deepavali, Chandrashekar Rao has been working out strategies to meet the likely challenge from the Mahakutami. A trailer of the tone and tenor of the speeches had already been shown by K T Rama Rao and Harish Rao where the target is Chandrababu Naidu. All out efforts are being made to project both the Congress and Naidu as demons who would ruin the State if the Kutami wins election and comes to power.

“Samkshemam versus Sankshobham,” (Welfare Versus Disaster) is the new TRS slogan. They say that Telangana State would go back to an era of suppression. To what extent people would be willing to buy this argument is something which only the results will tell.

The fact remains that people are unhappy with the government to some extent. Their anger is slowly coming out and is being demonstrated in some constituencies where the TRS has been campaigning. However, it would be too premature to say that the anti-incumbency is strong enough to pull down the government. It also cannot be said for certain that the transfer of votes will take place between parties as is being expected by the alliance partners.

Though the government is coming out with survey reports saying that it is set to win 100 out of 119 seats, the real voters are keeping their cards close to their chest. In many places they are expressing their unhappiness over non-implementation of certain schemes promised by TRS but are not willing to open up on their likely choice. The stock reply one gets is “Evaru matho unte vallake Saaru.” (We will vote to only those who would be with us). Voters apparently are decided. It is only the leaders and parties which are not able to judge the people’s pulse properly.

If the TRS thinks that attacking Naidu would get them votes in tons, the party is certainly making a mistake. No one can deny the role of the Telugu Desam party (TDP) in the development of Hyderabad. It is also wrong if the pink party thinks that the Telugu people who have come from other parts of undivided Andhra Pradesh and have settled here have severed ties with their villages and their near and dear in Andhra Pradesh. Just because they are settled here (let us presume) they are happier, it does not mean that they would go with the TRS. It would also be preposterous to claim that they will en masse vote for the TDP or the Congress. It is a dicey situation.

The Congress is alleging that the TRS and the BJP at national level have some secret understanding. The Seemandhra people are fretting and fuming against the BJP as it has been throttling their home State by not according special status and non-release of funds due to it. Against the backdrop of this situation, if the TRS intensifies its criticism of Naidu, the possibility of anger against the BJP getting reflected against the TRS in the voting pattern cannot be ruled out.

The way Naidu is moving ahead in his efforts to enlist the support of leaders of other parties has generated lot of interest and the focus of voters is now shifted towards Lok Sabha elections as well. Already Naidu has succeeded in roping in support of JDS in Karnataka and DMK in Tamil Nadu. Earlier he had met Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Sharad Yadav, Mulayam Singh, Mayawati and Farooq Abdullah. Efforts are on to give a shape to the new political front by the end of November.

All those who are opposing the BJP are likely to participate in rallies being organised by Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Kumaraswamy in Karnataka and DMK in Tamil Nadu. The TDP too has also decided to organise a mammoth concluding session of Dharma Porata Deeksha and convert it into a sort of conclave of Opposition leaders to demonstrate that they are united to fight the BJP.

Amidst this scenario, the BJP and the YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh are indulging in self goals and are inflicting injuries which can upset their apple cart. While the line taken by the YSRCP chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy that he has no faith in the State police and his earlier comments that the administration was behaving like the TDP cadre is something which has not gone down well with these sections.

On the other hand, the BJP too has been targeting the police saying that the TDP would soon sit in the Opposition and once the BJP comes to power, they will not spare those who were working in favour of the ruling party. The BJP knows it very well that it is difficult for them to save the three or four seats they had won last time.

Apparently, they are hinting that the YSRCP would come to power which further gives credence to the allegation that the BJP is firing its guns over the shoulders of the YSRCP. One thing every party should know is that it is difficult to retain power or come to power if they do not enjoy the support of employees. That is why the TRS and the TDP governments have been ensuring that the employees do not go against them. The real game has just begun and would continue for another five months. Let’s watch and enjoy and of course let us not forget to cast our vote honestly.

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