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Will it? In Telangana, the guessing game for Congress begins

It appears to be an uphill task for the grand old party if data from the past nine elections is anything to go by.
Last Updated 29 November 2023, 03:27 IST

Hyderabad: Riding high on poll promises and victory in Karnataka, a resurgent Congress hopes to do well in Telangana, which goes to polls on November 30. However, it remains to be seen whether it can wrest power.

It appears to be an uphill task for the grand old party if data from the past nine elections is anything to go by. In none of the elections since 1983, Congress has crossed the magic figure of 60 seats. During elections in combined Andhra Pradesh from 1983, it was in 1989, 2004 and 2009 that Congress formed a government.

However, in none of these elections, Congress secured 60 seats from Telangana region.

After the bifurcation, Congress won 21 and 18 seats in 2014 and 2018 polls respectively. In the last election, the vote percentage gap between the BRS, which won 88 seats, and Congress was a staggering 18.5 per cent.

In 1989, Congress won 181 seats out of the total 294 assembly seats in combined Andhra Pradesh. During those elections, the party had won 58 seats from Telangana region and the rest from Seemandhra.

After 1989, it in 2004 under the leadership of YS Rajasekhar Reddy, Congress won 185 seats. However, it won only 54 seats in Telangana. In 2004, Congress allied with the TRS and TRS won 26 Assembly seats. In 2009 polls, Congress won 156 seats, 50 of which came from Telangana region.

“Past data aside, three major factors could influence the outcome of the polls. The number one factor could be anti-incumbency against the BRS after almost 10 years of rule. The second factor could be a major shift of the minorities toward the Congress. Except in the Hyderabad region where they will vote for MIM, in the rest of Telangana I don’t think they trust BRS anymore.

“There is a good consolidation of minorities’ votes in favour of Congress. Third factor could be that there is a general feeling among people that the present government is intolerant and arrogant. KCR doesn’t even give appointments to his MLAs. These factors could contribute to Congress’ upturn,” senior journalist and political analyst S Veeraiah told DH.

However, senior journalist and political analyst Telakapalli Ravi feels it is an uphill task for the Congress. “With the advent of TDP in Andhra Pradesh, Congress has lost sheen. Over the last 40 years, two of the three terms the Congress was in power in combined Andhra Pradesh was only due to the charismatic YS Rajasekhar Reddy. The vote percentage gap was also huge last time. We will have to wait and see if people are ready to embrace Congress now,” he said.

The Congress leaders meanwhile are exuding confidence.

“Every 20 years, political trends change in this part of the country. It happened in 1983 with NTR and in 2004 with YSR. Now, 20 years later, a Congress wave is well and truly on,” said Telangana PCC chief A Revanth Reddy.

“Its definitely an uphill and herculean task for Congress. With the advent of TDP in Andhra Pradesh Congress has lost sheen. Over the last 40 years, two times of the three terms the Congress was in power in combined Andhra Pradesh was only due to the charisma of Y S Rajasekhar Reddy. The vote percentage gap was also huge last time. Whether people are ready to embrace Congress matching up such a huge gap we will have to wait and see,” senior journalist and political analyst Telakapalli Ravi told DH.

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(Published 29 November 2023, 03:27 IST)

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