Lok Sabha polls 2024: Congress, BJP to battle it out in Telangana; BRS looks to revive fortune

Bringing the heat on in Telangana are the BJP and Congress, who for the first time will battle it out in India’s youngest state.
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 22:52 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 22:52 IST

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Hyderabad: As politicians and their supporters take to the streets for campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, they are facing extreme temperatures.

Bringing the heat on in Telangana are the BJP and Congress, who for the first time will battle it out in India’s youngest state.

For both parties, Telangana is important to hold their sway in the south. After Karnataka, it is in Telangana that Congress’ hopes of survival have been rekindled. And for BJP their next stop after Karnataka, where it sees an opportunity in the south is Telangana, and
could prove vital for its ‘Mission 370’.

A good performance in Telangana will add to the overall tally of the national parties, and could well be the difference-maker.

BRS which was at the helm for almost a decade has now been relegated to the third spot.

“As far as how things have been unfolding in the last few months after last year’s assembly polls, it’s evident that the ensuing Lok Sabha polls will be a fight between Congress and BJP. Notably, BRS is seen as a distant third. And it’s an interesting phenomenon. BRS is also not in a position to put up a strong and formidable fight. Even if it wants to put up a fight, it will be tough as unlike in the past it has to face two national parties. As if it is a precursor, both BJP and Congress are eying BRS leaders and slowly these two parties will occupy its space,” said noted political analyst and senior journalist, Telakapalli Ravi.

The outcome of the elections will be an indicator of the future of the two national parties in Telangana, added Ravi. He also reminded that BRS performance had declined in 2019 general elections just months after the party’s heights in the 2018 assembly polls.

If the BJP can improve its tally in Telangana, the day is not far when the saffron party will form its second government in the south in Telangana.

Of the total 17 Lok Sabha segments in Telangana, BJP currently has four, Congress three, MIM one and BRS has nine.

With BRS candidates shying away from contesting the polls, and the party finding it difficult to pick candidates, political pundits expect the Pink Party’s performance to nosedive.

However, despite three visits to the state by PM Modi in the last three months, the BJP is yet to make inroads in the GHMC area, where the BRS is still seen as a strong party and the south Telangana region where Congress appears to be in a strong position.

Congress which has been riding high after the resounding success in the assembly polls has been cautious in picking candidates and putting in all its resources to bag maximum seats.

It remains to be seen if the BRS can retain its vote bank and play a spoilsport.

For the record, BJP had doubled its vote share, bagging an overall vote share of 13.90% of the total polled votes in the 2023 assembly polls as against 6.98% in 2018 assembly polls.

For a party that never bagged votes in double digits in the last few polls, BJP registered an impressive performance in 2023. Congress which ruled the combined state several times bounced back in the assembly polls. This is a significant moment and a dramatic turnaround for the grand old party and has given hopes of clinching maximum Lok Sabha seats.

Constituencies in focus

Malkajgiri: Malkajgiri segment formed in 2009 is the largest parliamentary constituency in the country. This time BJP’s Eatala Rajender P Sunita Reddy from Congress and P Laxma Reddy from BRS are trying their luck. Chevella: Chevella which comes under GHMC region where BJP had not performed well in the last assembly polls has fielded Konda Visweswar Reddy. Interestingly Viswawar and Congress candidate G Ranjith Reddy will contest against each other again but from different parties. Medak: Since its inception in 1957 Medak has been a Congress stronghold. After the formation of TRS it has been won by 4 different candidates in 3 elections including its founder KCR. Nizamabad: Nizamabad is considered as a toehold of BJP in North Telangana.

Key Issues

Corruption: Allegations of large-scale corruption by the previous BRS govt in executing Kaleshwaram project that runs into around Rs 1L cr. Job creation: According to reports Telangana is struggling with a limited availability of formal sector employment. Both BJP and Congress have promised creation of jobs. Infrastructure: Although BRS claims to have turned Hyderabad into a “global city” the issue of waterlogging is a major problem here. Snoopgate: Police officers working with the state’s Special Intelligence Bureau had allegedly carried out widespread phone tapping of Oppn leaders traders and others.

Published 16 April 2024, 22:52 IST

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