Telangana byelections- KCR Pvt Ltd Out జూన్ 3, 2008Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in elections, In News, politics, Telangana.
TRS pays for KCR’s foibles – News Analysis
S. Nagesh Kumar
Party suffers steady erosion in its vote base, not to speak of electoral losses in the bypolls
HYDERABAD: The Telangana Rashtra Samiti has paid a heavy price for the gross political miscalculation of its president K. Chandrasekhar Rao in precipitating byelections and ending up on the losing side. It has suffered erosion in its vote base, not to speak of the loss of face by conceding nine of the 16 Assembly and two of the four Lok Sabha seats that it held earlier. In as many as eight Assembly constituencies, it stood a poor third and forfeited deposits in two. Such reverses are perhaps not new to the TRS, as its share of Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTCs) fell from 84 in 2001 to 25 in 2006.
The TRS as a vehicle for achieving statehood for Telangana has been called into question by those like Congress Working Committee (CWC) member G. Venkataswamy, who were earlier espousing its cause.
In retrospect, Mr. Rao was confident that the TRS’ and his own popularity would swing the ‘Telangana sentiment’ in the party’s favour. So cocky was Mr. Rao that he dismissed with disdain APCC president D. Srinivas’ appeal not to field a candidate in Khairatabad Assembly constituency where the Congress had fielded the son of late P. Janardhan Reddy, who never missed highlighting Telangana-related issues.
Not stopping at that, the TRS president went on to make smug statements that Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy would be replaced as Chief Minister by the Congress high command within 15 days of the byelections and that Telangana was hanging like the proverbial Sword of Damocles over the latter’s head.
Cadre in confusion
However, ever since the byelection results started trickling in, Mr. Rao became incommunicado not only to the media but also everyone except those in his inner circle, plunging his party cadre in confusion. His son, K. Taraka Rama Rao, who is the party general secretary, did better when he stated that the party needed to introspect and find out where its calculations went wrong. Such soul-searching would indeed help the TRS since it has made no conscious effort to evolve an ideological plank, or even an economic and social agenda that can go hand-in-hand with the Telangana sentiment.
The Congress as well as the TDP chipped away at the TRS’ perceived monopoly over the Telangana sentiment and thereby the vote base by moderating their stand ingeniously on the issue. The Chief Minister went as far as to say before the polling day that a defeat for TRS would not mean there was no Telangana sentiment.
The outcome of Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao’s bravado has pleased Dr. Reddy as well as Mr. Chandrababu Naidu. The former need not keep looking at his back to protect himself from the seniors while the TDP leader can keep his poor performance in the 2004 elections firmly behind and prepare to take on the Congress next year.
source: The Hindu, 3 June 2008