The Telangana State is witnessing a completely new exercise for the present elections. The CPM had introduced Bahujan Left Front (BLF) this time. The CPM had planned for alliance with the CPI too in the State but it did not work as CPI walked into alliance with the Congress.
Now, left alone, the CPM had forged this alliance with leaders of various backward castes and the aspirants from these sections. CPM secretary Tammineni Veerabhadram, who is accused of massive corruption in the State, is now heading the BLF. People who welcome this front are not happy with Veerabhadram.
The intellectuals in Telangana feel that the BLF is a right experiment ahead of the elections, and there is such a need in the State. The BC leaders like R Krishnaiah and Kasani Gnaneswar have been campaigning for BC leadership in the State and it had come before them now. Unfortunately the two leaders are with the Congress and the party had accommodated them in the eleventh hour.
Tammineni Veerabhadram has no credibility in Telangana politics for two reasons – the corruption that he is involved in for several years and his caste affiliations. These two factors leave even the Left voters to think twice on voting for the BLF.
The BLF had fielded all BC, ST, SC and Minority candidates for all the 119 Assembly constituencies except for half a dozen where it accommodated candidates from the ruling castes. This initiative had attracted the progressive forces in the State, particularly those who have been active in Osmania University and those who have been active in the civil rights activities. This positive aspect of the BLF is set to get some votes in selective pockets but may not have the expected advantage only because of leadership.
There is a need for someone from these weaker sections to take over the leadership from Tammineni, if they wanted to make their presence felt in the elections, if not now. But, this experiment, if sustained, is said to be the much needed one, for the future of Telangana. The progressive sections are looking at it as their future alternative. It is to be seen how influential and organised that the BLF would stand in the State even after the elections.