Major political parties are worried about the impact of the ‘Telangana factor’ on the prospects of their respective candidates

Elections to two Lok Sabha and 14 Assembly constituencies in this district are poised for a keen finish what with major political parties in the fray worried about the impact of the ‘Telangana factor’ on the prospects of their respective candidates.

The Telugu Desam, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party claim outwardly that the T-issue is unlikely to have any major impact as the State has already been formed. They also feel that now is the time to focus on the accelerated development of the region. But they are apparently worried about the shift in their traditional vote bank to Telangana Rashtra Samithi in significant proportions as the date for election is fast approaching.

The concern of the contending parties stems from the fact that voters are not revealing their mind when the candidates approach them. “Our choice is Telangana and we will vote accordingly,” is how voters are responding to the candidates during campaign. Equally confusing is voters’ response to public meetings addressed by national leaders of the BJP and the Congress as also the one addressed by TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

The response to BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was, by and large, overwhelming, but the meetings addressed by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao were no less impressive. The curbs imposed on the election campaign by the Election Commission, limiting their approach to voters to understand their mind, have only compounded the parties’ confusion on which way the voter would go.

The Congress and the TDP-BJP combine are not buying the argument that the TRS is placed comfortably and its candidates could win some seats, although they admit that the Telangana party’s nominee Manda Jagannadham is way ahead of his Congress and TDP rivals in Nagarkurnool Lok Sabha seat. Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy is pitted against BJP’s Nagam Janardhan Reddy and TRS leader A.P. Jitender Reddy in a triangular contest in the Mahabubnagar Lok Sabha seat.

But they are worried about the potential of the Telangana party to upset the applecart of many a contestant of the two sides. “Telangana is for sure a deciding factor in the elections. But whether the voters choose the TRS or otherwise is to be seen,” a senior BJP leader reacted.

The two major parties are, therefore, leaving nothing to chance in ensuring that the TRS alone does not get the credit for the T-State.

The national leaders of the two parties too have realised the gravity of the situation and have, accordingly, dedicated most part of their address to discrediting the TRS claims on achieving Telangana State.

AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi criticised TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao for breaking promises while the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi focussed on how the TRS was trying to usher in family rule in the newly-born State that needs a stable government.

The two sides have a valid ground for their concerns as a split in minority vote could upset the Congress plans while the BJP-TDP combine could face a set back if some portion of their traditional vote shifts to the TRS. With uncertainty looming large over the fate of their nominees for the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies, the Congress and the TDP-BJP combine are busy thinking various permutations and combinations that could have an impact on the prospects of their candidates.

While the Congress is working overtime to consolidate the Muslim vote, contributing a significant chunk in several constituencies, the TDP-BJP combine is worried about ensuring an effective transfer of vote between the two parties that will be a key determinant of the fate of their respective contestants.