The oft-repeated claim of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao that the party was poised to win all elections from “panchayat to Parliament” in Telangana has taken a beating after the party’s poor showing in the first phase of elections to the gram panchayats.
The TRS has attributed its poor performance to the fact that the polls were being held on non-party basis. As a result, political issues, particularly statehood, did not figure.
That was why the people did not factor in Telangana while casting their vote, party leaders said.
The party, however, nursed a grouse that the claims by Congress, Telugu Desam and YSR Congress about winning a sizeable number of sarpanch posts were exaggerated because the aggregate of these seats was double the number of panchayats that went to polls. For example, the Congress claimed a couple of panchayats in Regonda and Parkal mandals of Warangal district when the winners were actually TRS candidates. The performance of TRS was actually not bad, according to ex-MP B. Vinod Kumar.
The results were a setback to TRS in yet another form as they demonstrated the threat to the party from a new quarter -- YSRC -- whose candidate Shailaja won sarpanch post from Manthani village in Karimnagar.
Incidentally, the village is part of Manthani constituency represented by Civil Supplies Minister D. Sridhar Babu. The Congress did well in this constituency barring the village, sources added.
They also said accessibility and acceptability of candidates more than their party affiliations played a key role in the elections.