The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has taken the municipal elections as a matter of prestige, but it is likely that the party will enter the polls without its president K. Chandrasekhar Rao undertaking the campaigning as he wants to reserve his strategies for the coming general elections.
Sources said Mr. Rao would not like to exhaust his entire arsenal in an election which may not be fetching much to the party as it does not have much presence in urban areas/towns that will go to the polls. While the party would contest every municipality and ward to keep the confidence of the cadre intact, the second rung leaders would campaign.
The sources said Mr. Rao is likely to stay away from canvassing bearing in mind the likely impact on the general elections if the results in municipal polls were adverse.
In this context, the party sources highlight the poor performance of the TRS in the last municipal elections in 2005 when the party won a mere two out of 96 municipalities and only 75 out of 932 wards.
The poor showing continued in the elections to panchayat raj institutions in 2006 when it won only 381 out of 16,130 mandal parishad territorial constituencies with a vote share of 2.36 per cent and 25 out 1,100 zilla parishad territorial constituencies with 2.28 per cent share. The trend, however, was reversed in a few months as Mr. Rao resigned his membership of Parliament from Karimnagar and was re-elected with a majority of two lakh votes.
The TRS leadership is said to be holding hectic consultations and finalising candidates for the municipal polls. It accommodated CPI candidates wherever the party is strong.