Elections for Parliament and Assembly scheduled for next year promise a new clutch of young and exuberant contestants from the Telangana region who are all set to vie with the senior lot.
Quite a few students who owe their allegiance to OUJAC are keen to pursue political careers, as apparent from their desire to contest polls.
OU has been at the centre of the Telangana movement ever since it got a fresh lease of life in 2009 in the aftermath of TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s fast. Since then, it has been a saga of protests, agitations, not to mention innumerable cases slapped against students at the university.
It will not be an overstatement to say that protests on the campus provided momentum to the struggle, besides dictating terms to politicians.
Students who have been at the forefront of the movement have learnt their political ropes rather quickly, replacing the quick-tempered, innately aggressive leaders of the 1970’s with a politically astute, level-headed politicians, primed to perfection by the prolonged struggle.
Krishank Manne, who acted as OUJAC spokesperson, is already in the process of firming up his position in the Secunderabad Cantonment constituency.
With incumbent legislator P. Shankar Rao’s stars turning unfavourable, Krishank hopes that his own will smile on him. To build a public image, he has already started campaigns on various civic issues in the constituency.
“I have many things going for me in the constituency, and I am looking forward to becoming a legislator. A political party has already offered me ticket, but I am weighing my options carefully,” he says.
Majority of wannabe legislators are looking to join the Congress or the TRS, but much depends on the tabling of the Telangana bill in Parliament and a possible merger of the TRS with the Congress in the days to come.
“We tried to form our own political party earlier, but that was not happening. It was not a practical thought either, as contesting elections requires huge money. I might choose to join either the TDP or the Congress, depending on the situation,” reveals Durgam Bhaskar, State president of the Telangana Vidyarthi Sangham and State convener of TSJAC.
Though hailing from Sirpur-Kagaznagar, Bhaskar looks forward to contesting from the SC constituency of Chennur or Bellampally. He is not very hopeful of contesting as an independent candidate in case no party offers him ticket.
Not so with Pidamarthi Ravi, chairman of TSJAC, who had already contested from Madhira constituency in Khammam in 2009 on behalf of the BSP. He has his options clearly set. He will contest for the Warangal Parliament seat.
“If the Telangana bill is tabled in the winter session, I will choose my party depending on the circumstances. If not, we will field students from all Assembly and Parliament constituencies of the region,” he says and asserts that there are 50 aspirants for the Assembly and 10 for Parliament from the university.