By: J R Janumpalli
With the general elections looming large on the horizon, Telangana is becoming a veritable political battle ground. With its 17 MP seats and the impact of the political turmoil in the region on other 25 MP seats in Seemandhra area, A.P. state is turning up in to an important political theater for the 2014 general elections. The Congress party has retained its power in 2009 elections with 156 seats in the assembly and the TDP came back strongly and has bettered its tally from 2004 with 92 seats. But today both the parties are in dire straits because of TRS in Telangana and YSRP in Seemandhra.The 42 MP seats in the state are very important for any conglomeration in the center.
Both the Congress and TDP parties have been reduced to the pale shadows of their former selves. Since 2009, in the by-elections of the state, Congress party has lost 36 out of 38 Assembly elections and 1 Parliamentary election; TDP has lost all 39.TRS and YSRCP have crushed both these parties. Presently, the stock of TRS and YSRP is very high in their respective areas. For TRS, it is its Telangana State declaration and sabotage by Congress and TDP. For YSRCP it is the death of YSR, a combination of factors like populist schemes of YSR, anti-incumbency to Congress and the effect of Telangana turmoil on its administration.
But the political dynamics can change based on the developments and circumstances on the run-up to the elections. The YSRCP supremo is likely to be kept in jail for a long time to come for ED cases. In addition to the internment there can be some financial implications to the party. It can become a handicap to the party and can give some impetus to TDP and Congress. In the same way the coordination blues of TRS with the pro Telangana parties like BJP, CPI and ND and the strong bid of Congress, TDP and YSRCP to make inroads in to several seats in Telangana making use of a plethora of local factors, dissidence and money can cause some serious concerns to TRS.
There is a lot of debate going on, on the style of functioning of KCR and political predicament of TRS, Its hobnobbing with Congress; its reluctance to have a front with BJP; its inviting other party people in to TRS etc. are attracting a lot of criticism. If we examine the ground realities TRS’s reluctance to have an open alliance with BJP is understandable. Its predicament between Congress and BJP is an unenviable state. Congress is currently in power; it declared the initiation of the formation of State of Telangana and has the authority to give Telangana State before 2014 elections. KCR’s voluntary offer of merging with Congress is to be understood in a right perspective. If Congress did not take it and continued to play its dilatory tactics for its own unscrupulous reasons, it is not the fault of KCR. It was an anxious effort of TRS to get Telangana state before 2014. It might have shown TRS in poor light for some time. But it has made its point and has exposed the true colors of the Congress party.
Its hesitation to have truck with BJP before next general elections is a different matter altogether.Inevitably, the sizable Muslim vote bank in Telangana and uncertainty of coalition politics in the center will have a bearing on the decision. Its alliance with Congress and TDP and the unsavory consequences thereon in the earlier elections are very fresh in our mind. Hypothetically, if TRS aligned with BJP before elections and BJP needs support from YSRCP after elections to form the government what will it do, except ditching Telangana demand. If TRS remained independent and BJP needs its support then the outcome would be different. We have also to think about the possibility of UPA alliance coming in to power or an outside chance of a potpourri of third front forming government at the center. As it is, the presence of BJP in Telangana is not very big.
The CPI party took a very firm stand in favor of Telangana state and worked very constructively for Telangana in the last 3 years after 9, December 2009.But, its presence also in Telangana is small. The possibility of its aligning with TDP in Seemandra region does not make it congenial for TRS to have a pre poll alliance with that party. The New Democracy party does not appear to be having much problem with in getting along with TRS. BJP and CPI should have some patience and positive understanding with TRS as national parties with a broader outlook without trying to upstage TRS for a few seats. TRS should also exhibit a political diplomacy to keep them in good humor and work out an arrangement that can guarantee friendly alignment of these parties in the elections. More importantly with BJP it should keep in view, the post-election probabilities.
As for, inviting other party people, it is a political posturing for obvious reasons. There is no likely hood of it becoming a very big affair. Yet, KCR needs to be very circumspect in this matter.TRS also needs to be working very hard to keep the marauding forces of YSRCP, Congress and TDP at bay.
Presently with all the ups and downs of Telangana movement in the last more than 3 years after that momentous event of 9, December 2009, TRS along with TJAC emerged as the flagship of Telangana movement. After all the disappointing results in 2004 and 2009, TRS decision to go alone this time appears to be sensible. At this juncture, there is an imperative need to build a formidable indigenous political force in Telangana, which is its own master.The continued intransigence of Congress party on Telangana State, does not leave any alternative to it. The massive betrayal of Congress party itself will be the formidable driving force for the ‘Telangana Juggernaut’ in the elections.