What will be KCR’s strategy towards Andhra settlers is the question being debated now. Congress party has already announced its decision. TDP is in a dilemma whether to go it alone or have an alliance with others. Settlers are not likely to support BJP and other parties. Only TRS, TDP and Congress are likely to get their votes. The party which gets their support will have chances to win 25 seats. Analysts estimate that the party which garners their support will have advantage. There is suspense on which party setllers will support in the changed political situation. It is not possible for anybody to feel the pulse of these voters, who act collectively as voters.
After the bifurcation, the people of Andhra Pradesh completely rejected Congress. Besides them, those settled in Telangana also decided to teach Congress a lesson. As a result, Congress was believed to have lost 20 constituencies. In some places, TDP-BJP alliance and TRS were benefitted. Congress knew this before 2014 elections but could do nothing. It believed that people of Telangana will enmass vote for the party for giving the state. Congress did not win any of the constituencies where settlers are in large numbers. While gearing up for 2019 elections, Congress leadership is trying to woo settlers. Congress is planning to select some settlers in Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and surrounding areas and give them party tickets. Congress has taken clear stand on the issue of special status to AP. As a result, the public resentment towards the party has come down. Congress hopes that if it fields settlers, the party will get their support everywhere. The high command is said to have given green signal in this regard.
This time TDP will receive a jolt in Telangana. It is not just political observers and analysts but even the top leaders of the party have the same feeling. At the party’s internal meetings, second rung leaders are warning that if no alliance is formed with any other party then TDP will have to face severe drubbing. Some TDP leaders who held different posts while being in the party are not leaving it. Another reason for this is lack of suitable posts in other parties. Ruling TRS is already overcrowded. In Congress the tussle for seats has intensified. Most of the lower rank workers have left the TDP. Due to social composition, BC groups at isolated places respect the party. However, this support is not sufficient to win assembly seats. TDP leaders are saying that if the party mobilizes its existing votes and take support of others then only it can enter the assembly this time. In this context, the TDP is looking to join hands with any popular party. They believe that alliance with either Congress or TRS will be beneficial.
Settlers have somewhat favourable stand towards TRS. In Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls they enmass supported the ruling party. Settlers who voted for BJP-TDP alliance in 2014 subsequently changed their stand. TDP is anyway not joining hands with BJP. Even if all the seats are given to TDP, there will be no advantage. They see only Congress and TRS as alternative. Taking the initiative Congress is making some efforts. For some time TRS too is trying to woo those who are settled here. In the past, TRS leaders responded positively on the issue of special status to AP. However, it took U-turn during no-confidence motion in Parliament. This is causing some problems to TRS. KCR is an expert in taking appropriate steps at right time. Party sources say that if poll bugle is sounded, settlers may get some huge sops.