The Hyderabad’s sub-regional party, MIM, had retained its strength in the Assembly by winning 7 seats., which the party had won in 2014 elections. The MIM limited its presence to the pockets where it is strong for decades. It did not think of expanding to the other places outside Hyderabad, where the Muslim population is considerably strong. This had in a way helped the MIM to remain strong.
MIM leaders were confident of their victory and the victory of the Telangana Rastra Samithi. The MIM found the TRS as best pal and they had this understanding in the elections, though there was no direct alliance between the two parties.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party had paid heavy price this time. The BJP had won 5 Assembly seats in the 2014 elections. That was mostly because of the alliance with the Telugu Desam Party in 2014. The alliance with the TDP had helped the BJP win those seats. But, this time, its presence is reduced to 1 and that was mostly because of the personal image of the legislator and not that of the party.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah have addressed a dozen election meetings in two phases. There were a dozen Union Ministers and a couple of chief ministers from the BJP-ruled States who campaigned for the BJP this time. They targeted the MIM more than the TRS and the Congress.
The BJP tried to woo the Hindu voters by projecting the MIM as religious fundamental party. Their blame on the TRS was having a secret understanding with the MIM. The BJP leaders, including Narendra Modi and Amit Shah believed that targeting MIM would help them consolidate the Hindu vote bank. But, it did not work and the senior leaders like Lakshman and Kishan Reddy had to taste the humiliating defeat.
The victory of the MIM and the defeat of the BJP gives single message to the parties that people are not communal but it is only the politicians who create communal unrest for political gains. The BJP leaders should learn this lesson at least now if they wanted to grow in Telangana, if not in Andhra Pradesh.