Strong possibility of early polls in Telangana

Hyderabad, March 19: For more than a week the political circles in Telangana are buzz with the talk of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) going for early polls next year.

Two developments last week gave credence to the speculations. The first was the victory of BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand elections with massive majority.

A bouquet of schemes announced in the state budget for 2017-18 further intensified the talk of snap poll.

The next assembly elections are scheduled in 2019. However, the TRS is likely to go for assembly elections in the last quarter of 2018.

Though Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, while speaking in the assembly, ruled out his government going for early polls, this has failed to put an end to the speculations, considering the manner in which the sops for various caste based vocations were announced.

The opposition parties strongly believe that TRS is gearing up for the elections next year.

It was late last month that BJP spokesman Krishna Saagar Rao first spoke about the possibility of early polls.

The BJP leader believes that TRS wants to take advantage of disunited opposition and weakness of the main opposition party Congress.

According to him, the TRS wants to get fresh mandate before the growing the growing dissatisfaction among the people to transforms into an anti-establishment wave.

“KCR’s recent attempts at caste and sub castes politics, sudden awakening to fulfill his personal vows to god with public money after almost 3 years of Telangana statehood formation, 12% muslim reservation rhetoric, all of it at the same time highlights that he is man in hurry and realizes that he reached the incompetence peak already by midterm,” said the BJP spokesman.

State Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the sops announced to various sections in the budget clearly indicate that the state was heading for mid-terms polls in 2018.

He said that TRS government tried to lure some sections of Backward Classes by offering various sops only to hide its failure to implement 12% quota for STs and Muslims, three acres of land for Dalit families and other major promises.

Political observers say KCR want to catch the opposition unprepared. The results of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have proved that Narendra Modi wave is still alive and kicking and it may still be relevant in 2019 elections.

Buoyed by the UP victory, BJP is likely to focus on Telangana and strengthen the organisation. It will try to ride on Modi wave to capture not only the maximum number of Lok Sabha seats but also become a strong contender for power in the state.

Thus going for assembly polls along with Lok Sabha elections in 2019 may carry risk for KCR.

Analysts say the TRS chief would like to project whatever achievements his government had since formation of the state in 2014 to seek the fresh mandate. The government is already stepping up the pace of works for Mission Bhagiratha, under which it plans to supply piped drinking water to every household.

KCR had already stated that his party will not seek votes in the next elections if it could not complete Mission Bhagiratha. As most of the works under the ambitious project are likely to be completed by the end of 2018, TRS can still go to people and show that it is on the job.

It is also initiating steps to speed up the works relating to double bed room houses for the poor. Completion of 2 lakh houses during 2017-18 will further strengthen its position.

In the budget, the government announced sheep rearing scheme, under which 83 lakh sheep will be provided to four lakh Yadav families at 75 percent subsidy. The government also wooed various other communities like fishermen, barbers, carpenters, goldsmiths and most backward classes through various sops.

The populist budget increased the financial assistance for marriage of poor girls under Kalyan Lakshmi/Shadi Mubarak from Rs.51,000 to Rs.75,116.

It also announced financial assistance of Rs.12,000 to a woman delivering a baby at government-run hospital, additional Rs.1,000 for a woman delivering girl child and ‘KCR kit’ containing essential items for every newborn.

All these sops made it an election budget and indicate the strong possibility of early polls.

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