Telangana polls: TRS aims to use an eight-point election strategy to counter challenge posed by Mahakutami

As the Congress-led Opposition combine is battle-ready to take on the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) juggernaut, Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) is embarking upon a comprehensive electoral strategy to frustrate the efforts of his rivals.

Such a strategy include the following:

1. Painting Mahakutami as proxy for Andhra Pradesh leadership

Painting the Congress-led Mahakutami as proxy for Andhra Pradesh leadership, TRS supremo KCR plans to revive the Telangana sentiment on the poll eve. The prime attack of TRS against the Mahakutami is on TDP. It is a calculated move on part of TRS as the Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP is a marginal player in the Congress-led alliance.

Unless the grand alliance wins the polls with a slender margin, the TDP will not have a decisive role in the Telangana government. Yet, TRS targets Congress for its alliance with TDP, describing it as an Andhra Pradesh party. Given the continuing differences between the two Telugu states post-bifurcation, and Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP president Naidu taking a position unpalatable to Telangana on a host of issues confronting the two states, TRS expects to rouse the Telangana sentiment again. TRS expects that Congress is therefore vulnerable to attack as Telangana electorate believes state TDP to be working under the dictates of the Andhra Pradesh chief minister.

2. Capitalising on dissidence within Congress

The Congress is facing dissidence in as many as ten constituencies among the first list of 65 candidates which the party has announced so far. In fact, Congress rivals expected the dissidence to be in more seats. However, TRS expects that the dissidence may mount as Congress and its allies release the full list of 119 candidates.

Though TRS also faced severe dissidence in as many as 30 seats, the ruling party could somehow manage it to a larger extent. The resource-rich ruling parties can always score over their Opposition rivals in such matters. Congress, which was busy finalising seat-sharing and selection of candidates, could not exploit the discontent in TRS over the selection of candidates, especially on the issue of re-nomination of almost all its sitting MLAs, many of whom face anti-incumbency. But now, the TRS leadership is strategising promoting rebels from the Opposition camp, especially from the Congress, by capitalising on the dissidence over seat-sharing and selection of candidates.

3. Micro-managing constituencies where Opposition has an advantage

The Congress camp feels that the first list has a large number of strong candidates if their individual capacity in winning the elections is concerned. The party spokesperson Dasoju Sravan Kumar said that majority of Congress candidates are two to three time MLAs, former MPs, former ministers and those who lost narrowly in 2014 when the Telangana sentiment was at its peak and the party was facing anti-incumbency after a ten-year-long spell in power.

Even the TRS leaders privately acknowledge this and claim that their leader KCR, who is a master strategist, will certainly have an effective strategy to neutralise this. TRS expects to undertake micro-management in identified constituencies where either Opposition candidates are strong or where TRS is facing internal dissonance.

4. Will Congress votes transfer to its allies?

TRS believes the Congress vote may not transfer to its allies — TDP, TJS and CPI. KCR called upon his party machinery to focus on such vulnerabilities of the Opposition conglomerate. Due to heavy competition for Congress candidature in many constituencies, the party finds it difficult to contain discontent in the seats allotted to allies. The problem is much more acute in the seats that are likely to be given to Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) led by Professor Kodandaram.

Congress leaders feel that CPI and TJS nominees are not winnable candidates and the party has to make sacrifices for the sake of alliance even as the allies are still sulking over inadequate representation for them in the grand alliance. As the nomination process comes to an end, the confusion and commotion in the Congress-led grand alliance may come down.

Yet, TRS expects disgruntlement in the rank and file of different parties. Congress and TDP are historic rivals. Kodandaram, who led the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) that led the movement for a separate state, was very critical of Congress and TDP during the movement. Thus, TRS hopes that the vote transfer within the Congress-led alliance will not be complete, asserts Taduri Srinivas, TRS spokesperson.

5. Banking on government’s welfare schemes

Converting the beneficiaries of his government’s welfare schemes into vote banks forms the core of KCR’s electoral plank. KCR government’s welfare schemes like pensions for the old, widows, and the differently-abled, Kalyana Laxmi and Shaadi Mubarak, the financial assistance scheme at the time of a girl’s wedding, the Rythu bandhu, capital assistance of Rs 8,000 per acre etc are quite popular. Though there may be inadequacies and lapses in the implementation of welfare schemes, TRS still expects large a vote bank in the form of beneficiaries of these schemes.

6. KCR’s popularity

The field-level reports indicate that many of TRS members in the dissolved Assembly seeking re-election are hugely unpopular among the voters, even as KCR enjoys public support. Therefore, realising this folly, KCR intends to convert the election into a sort of a referendum on himself as his party and its MLAs face anti-incumbency to an extent. KCR’s son and the Minister for Information Technology KT Rama Rao, describing KCR as lion, said that there are as many as 20 chief ministerial aspirants in Congress and the leader will be chosen by Delhi and sent to Hyderabad in a sealed cover. This is a clear attempt to convert the election into a personality fight, with KCR having an edge.

7. Mobilising minorities and caste groups

Social engineering by targeting Muslim vote through understanding with MIM and mobilising specific caste groups is yet another strategy of KCR. In fact, the Assembly was prematurely dissolved to delink the state elections from Lok Sabha polls as KCR feared anti-Modi sentiment would drive the minority vote towards Congress. Similarly, through targeted welfare schemes, KCR tried to rally OBC voters, who were strong supporters of TDP in the united state.

8. KCR’s sharp speeches

KCR intends to disarm Opposition with bitter criticism. He is known for his sharp speeches. Involving the use of powerful Telangana slang is the cynosure of TRS campaign. The chief minister has already addressed few public meetings and is expected to undertake a whirlwind tour of the state. Thus, he wants to set an election agenda, making the Opposition follow him.

 

 

 

Note: RSS Feeds taken from Respective Websites.

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Telangana polls: TRS aims to use an eight-point election strategy to counter challenge posed by Mahakutami

As the Congress-led Opposition combine is battle-ready to take on the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) juggernaut, Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) is embarking upon a comprehensive electoral strategy to frustrate the efforts of his rivals.

Such a strategy include the following:

1. Painting Mahakutami as proxy for Andhra Pradesh leadership

Painting the Congress-led Mahakutami as proxy for Andhra Pradesh leadership, TRS supremo KCR plans to revive the Telangana sentiment on the poll eve. The prime attack of TRS against the Mahakutami is on TDP. It is a calculated move on part of TRS as the Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP is a marginal player in the Congress-led alliance.

Unless the grand alliance wins the polls with a slender margin, the TDP will not have a decisive role in the Telangana government. Yet, TRS targets Congress for its alliance with TDP, describing it as an Andhra Pradesh party. Given the continuing differences between the two Telugu states post-bifurcation, and Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP president Naidu taking a position unpalatable to Telangana on a host of issues confronting the two states, TRS expects to rouse the Telangana sentiment again. TRS expects that Congress is therefore vulnerable to attack as Telangana electorate believes state TDP to be working under the dictates of the Andhra Pradesh chief minister.

2. Capitalising on dissidence within Congress

The Congress is facing dissidence in as many as ten constituencies among the first list of 65 candidates which the party has announced so far. In fact, Congress rivals expected the dissidence to be in more seats. However, TRS expects that the dissidence may mount as Congress and its allies release the full list of 119 candidates.

Though TRS also faced severe dissidence in as many as 30 seats, the ruling party could somehow manage it to a larger extent. The resource-rich ruling parties can always score over their Opposition rivals in such matters. Congress, which was busy finalising seat-sharing and selection of candidates, could not exploit the discontent in TRS over the selection of candidates, especially on the issue of re-nomination of almost all its sitting MLAs, many of whom face anti-incumbency. But now, the TRS leadership is strategising promoting rebels from the Opposition camp, especially from the Congress, by capitalising on the dissidence over seat-sharing and selection of candidates.

3. Micro-managing constituencies where Opposition has an advantage

The Congress camp feels that the first list has a large number of strong candidates if their individual capacity in winning the elections is concerned. The party spokesperson Dasoju Sravan Kumar said that majority of Congress candidates are two to three time MLAs, former MPs, former ministers and those who lost narrowly in 2014 when the Telangana sentiment was at its peak and the party was facing anti-incumbency after a ten-year-long spell in power.

Even the TRS leaders privately acknowledge this and claim that their leader KCR, who is a master strategist, will certainly have an effective strategy to neutralise this. TRS expects to undertake micro-management in identified constituencies where either Opposition candidates are strong or where TRS is facing internal dissonance.

4. Will Congress votes transfer to its allies?

TRS believes the Congress vote may not transfer to its allies — TDP, TJS and CPI. KCR called upon his party machinery to focus on such vulnerabilities of the Opposition conglomerate. Due to heavy competition for Congress candidature in many constituencies, the party finds it difficult to contain discontent in the seats allotted to allies. The problem is much more acute in the seats that are likely to be given to Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) led by Professor Kodandaram.

Congress leaders feel that CPI and TJS nominees are not winnable candidates and the party has to make sacrifices for the sake of alliance even as the allies are still sulking over inadequate representation for them in the grand alliance. As the nomination process comes to an end, the confusion and commotion in the Congress-led grand alliance may come down.

Yet, TRS expects disgruntlement in the rank and file of different parties. Congress and TDP are historic rivals. Kodandaram, who led the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) that led the movement for a separate state, was very critical of Congress and TDP during the movement. Thus, TRS hopes that the vote transfer within the Congress-led alliance will not be complete, asserts Taduri Srinivas, TRS spokesperson.

5. Banking on government’s welfare schemes

Converting the beneficiaries of his government’s welfare schemes into vote banks forms the core of KCR’s electoral plank. KCR government’s welfare schemes like pensions for the old, widows, and the differently-abled, Kalyana Laxmi and Shaadi Mubarak, the financial assistance scheme at the time of a girl’s wedding, the Rythu bandhu, capital assistance of Rs 8,000 per acre etc are quite popular. Though there may be inadequacies and lapses in the implementation of welfare schemes, TRS still expects large a vote bank in the form of beneficiaries of these schemes.

6. KCR’s popularity

The field-level reports indicate that many of TRS members in the dissolved Assembly seeking re-election are hugely unpopular among the voters, even as KCR enjoys public support. Therefore, realising this folly, KCR intends to convert the election into a sort of a referendum on himself as his party and its MLAs face anti-incumbency to an extent. KCR’s son and the Minister for Information Technology KT Rama Rao, describing KCR as lion, said that there are as many as 20 chief ministerial aspirants in Congress and the leader will be chosen by Delhi and sent to Hyderabad in a sealed cover. This is a clear attempt to convert the election into a personality fight, with KCR having an edge.

7. Mobilising minorities and caste groups

Social engineering by targeting Muslim vote through understanding with MIM and mobilising specific caste groups is yet another strategy of KCR. In fact, the Assembly was prematurely dissolved to delink the state elections from Lok Sabha polls as KCR feared anti-Modi sentiment would drive the minority vote towards Congress. Similarly, through targeted welfare schemes, KCR tried to rally OBC voters, who were strong supporters of TDP in the united state.

8. KCR’s sharp speeches

KCR intends to disarm Opposition with bitter criticism. He is known for his sharp speeches. Involving the use of powerful Telangana slang is the cynosure of TRS campaign. The chief minister has already addressed few public meetings and is expected to undertake a whirlwind tour of the state. Thus, he wants to set an election agenda, making the Opposition follow him.

 

 

 

Note: RSS Feeds taken from Respective Websites.

Telangana NRIs to campaign for TRS

Telangana NRIs have joined the poll campaign on behalf of the TRS NRI wing extending their support to the TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao. Besides using social media, the NRIs will campaign in person in various constituencies across the State, said TRS NRI coordinator Mahesh Bigala.

Speaking to media persons on Sunday, Mahesh Bigala exuded confidence that TRS will sweep over 100 seats in the Assembly elections. He said NRI Affairs Minister KT Rama Rao had been a great source of support for the Telangana migrant workers in the Gulf countries. “The Minister helped many victims in ensuring their safe return home,” he said.

The TRS NRI leader said the NRI Cell in Congress has been reduced to a namesake entity and failed to rescue any Gulf victims. “But Rama Rao has been promptly responding to people in need of help even when they post their SOS messages on social media,” he added.

 

 

 

 

Note: RSS Feeds taken from Respective Websites.

TRS will strive for ‘federal front’ after polls: KCR

The TRS would play a role in national politics after the December seven state Assembly elections towards the formation of a “federal front” that enhances the powers of states, party president and caretaker chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said Monday.

Both the Congress and the BJP have miserably failed to rise to the expectations of people, he alleged, addressing an election campaign meeting at Khammam.

“…Narendra Modi was given power with lot of hopes, there is nothing great he has done. (He) has not done anything for people,” he said.

The two parties, while in power at the Centre, had centralised powers, encroaching on powers of states, he alleged.

“A definite ‘federal front’ that resists and stops them and enhances powers of states needs to come..I have made some effort for it… But, TRS will do politics, after these polls, that keeps Delhi under check,” he said.

Rao, who resumed his election campaign after a gap, said the state government was implementing as many as 411 welfare schemes.

He highlighted the schemes and promises of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), including ‘Rythu Bandhu’ investment support scheme for farmers, hike in social security pension for poor, ‘Kanti Velugu’ eye screening for all, high salaries paid to Anganwadi personnel and others.

Referring to the criticism against the TRS government on the double bedroom houses for poor, he said it would be useful for two generations.

The Congress and the TDP are part of the “grand alliance” of opposition parties for the assembly elections.

He criticised the Congress and TDP for failing to ensure adequate power when they were in power.

Attacking Telugu Desam party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu, he alleged that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister has written to the Centre opposing certain irrigation projects in Telangana.

 

 

 

Note: RSS Feeds taken from Respective Websites.

Telangana Polls : KCR files nomination for Gajwel

Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and caretaker chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday filed his nomination papers for contesting the assembly elections from Gajwel assembly constituency in Siddipet district.

KCR submitted the papers at the Revenue Divisional Office at Gajwel town exactly at 2.34 pm, which is believed to be an auspicious time fixed by his family priests.

He was accompanied by his nephew and state irrigation minister T Harish Rao and a host of party leaders.

Before filing the nomination papers, the TRS chief conducted special prayers at Lord Venkateshawra Swamy temple at Konaipalli village of Nagunuru block, about 30 km from Gajwel.

The temple was decorated with flowers on the occasion of KCR’s special prayers. Temple priest Brahmadev Tripathi and several other senior priests blessed the chief minister.

He placed the nomination appears at the feet of the god, before putting his signature on them.

Later, he addressed the villagers briefly saying that the village and the temple had been sentimental for him since he entered politics in 1983. He vowed to develop the village on all fronts and bring waters of Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project to the village by next year.

“I will come to this temple with Kaleswaram water to perform pooja to the Lord”, he promised.

Interestingly, Gajwel assembly constituency has also a strong sentiment attached to it. Ever since it was formed in 1978, no MLA has been elected for two consecutive terms from this constituency, which was once part of Medak district.

Though two former MLAs — B Sanjeeva Rao and J Geetha Reddy represented this constituency for twice in the past, they got elected in different years, but not consecutively.

In 2014, KCR won the election for the first time on TRS ticket over TDP candidate Vanteru Pratap Redddy with a margin of over 19,000 votes, while then sitting Congress MLA T Narsa Reddy came third. Pratap Reddy is now contesting on the Congress ticket, while Narsa Reddy is supporting him.

If the Gajwel jinx for the elected candidates works out this year, too, KCR won’t be able to win the elections again from this constituency. But the chief minister appeared confident of breaking this jinx.

“With the blessings of Lord Venkateshwara and the people of Konaipalli, I am confident of winning the elections again. And the TRS is going to return to power by winning more than 100 out of 119 assembly seats,” he said.

Meanwhile, Harish Rao also filed his nomination papers for contesting the elections from Siddipet constituency. Before praying to the Lord Venkateshwara of Konaipalli, Harish also prayed at a dargah and a church before proceeding to the returning officer’s office to submit his nominations.

M Madhusudhanachary, the speaker of the recently dissolved Telangana Assembly, also filed his nomination from Bhupalpally constituency.

Disclaimer: RSS has been taken from their official website.

We Will Never Tie-up With BJP, Our Views are Very Different, Says TRS’ KTR

KCR’s son and IT minister KT Rama Rao talks to CNN-News18’s Marya Shakil about the grand alliance of opposition parties in Telangana, a tie-up with BJP and a larger role at the Centre.

 

The state of Telangana will go to polls in Decemeber this year, for the first time since its formation. The ruling TRS is the party in focus and its charismatic chief K Chandrashekar Rao is leaving no stone unturned to win this time. KCR’s son and IT minister KT Rama Rao talks to CNN-News18’s Marya Shakil about the grand alliance of opposition parties in Telangana, a tie-up with BJP and a larger role at the Centre

Interviwer : Joining me right now is TRS leader and IT minister KT Rama Rao. Thank you so much for your time here. So, this is the first Assembly election in Telangana ever since the state was carved out. Most of the surveys are showing it is the advantage to your father (KCR). The move of advancing elections has worked or is working on ground.

KTR: Well, if we look at what has happened in Telangana in last four years, every single election that has taken place in the state, the TRS has won extremely convincingly. Starting from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls, which is considered a mini-general elections of sort, we have won that very convincingly and this election in 2018 doesn’t appear different with TRS clearly ahead. Seven surveys have come out in last two months and each and every one has shown that the TRS will win with at least two- thirds majority. We are very confident.

There is grand alliance called ‘Mahakutami’ which is taking you on. It has Congress, TDP, CPI, Telangana Jan Samiti while you are going it alone, are you confident that your strategy of going alone will help you?

KTR: Let me point out that in 2014 we had won the election with majority . This time around it is no different. Even in the last election, the Congress had an alliance with CPI and other parties but this time even the Telugu Desam has joined its alliance. That is why we call it ‘Maha Ghatiya Bandhan’ there is no fundamental basis, no base on which this alliance can base itself. It is only power mongering and opportunistic alliance. I or people of Telangana don’t see any logic any convincing rationale for this alliance. We are very confident by (going for) this alliance, the Congress has shot itself in the foot and in fact this alliance bundled with contradictions will cost them dear.

We are also seeing that the alliance in Telangana is playing out at the national level. In fact, Chandrababu Naidu is today meeting MK Stalin. When we look at opposition unity and anti-Modi front, let’s not forget that in March your father had made that call for all non-Congress, non-BJP parties to come together. At that time, Naidu had shown inclination towards that, Mamata Banerjee had also approved , what exactly is the status of that third front or federal front?

KTR: The stand is very clear, the so called national parties both the BJP and the Congress have failed our nation. Even after 71 years of Independence there are still many issues plaguing this nation, there are many issues that haven’t been resolved by any of these coalitions. What we want is more powers to the state, more federal approach not just lip sympathy just calling it cooperative federalism or competitive federalism. If really India has to progress and grow and emerge as a very strong nation, the state has to be empowered and that is exactly why the idea of federal front was rooted by our leader KCR. Now what Chandrababu Naidu and other parties are up to is none of our concern. We hope to win this election in December convincingly and then we will start focusing on national politics and we will start making our moves after December 11.

So are saying there will be another attempt at federal front post December?

KTR: Absolutely. In fact, our CM and our leader is extremely clear that both the national parties have failed this nation and this country needs more stronger regional forces which can come together and can assure the true federal spirit which will lead to a strong nation from such combination

Who will stand with you as far as an anti-Modi bloc is concerned that is formalising and taking shape. We are seeing Sharad Pawar, Chandrababu Naidu, Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav, who really would be a part of the federal front?

KTR: Trust me, the world is not as simple as it seems and there isn’t only a bipolar kind of situation that it is only UPA or NDA. There will be a third front, there will be a coalition of likeminded parties which will emerge because we still have a long way to go for national elections. We are right now focusing on just state elections but after this you will see a lot of things happening in January and February

But it doesn’t look like that Chandrababu Naidu is concentrating on state elections that is due in a month’s time , why do you think he has gone in for such coalition in state and taking you on with help of the Congress.

KTR: Desperate times call for desperate measures and Chandrababu Naidu ‘s party faces extinction threat in Telangana so therefore he is merely trying to assert himself and retain a seat or two in Telangana by way of this alliance. His party will be decimated in Telangana. His party is set for an extinction so it’s a desperate time for Mr Naidu. It’s a desperate gamble to try and cook up a coalition which has no fundamental basis whatsoever.

There is speculation that your father had kept the central leadership of the BJP in the loop when he went for dissolution of the Assembly. So, is Mr KCR going to be part of the NDA before or after 2019?

KTR: Let me put it this way, speculate as you may, speculate as anybody wants to, the fact is clear that we are an independent party we are not part of the UPA or the NDA. We have no friendship or liking for any of the national parties which we have consistently maintained. So to accuse us or speculate that we are going to sail with the BJP is nothing but humbug and you will see our efforts. You will see our efforts to actually bring viable alternative to the NDA and the UPA after December11, and you will see it yourself.

Last question, can you assure the people of Telangana that you are not going to support the BJP before 2019 and these are only rumours and speculations?

KTR: Like I said, absolutely without a question because there is no way our ideology can compel us to come together. We have a very different view from the BJP on this country, on our state. So there is no way we can work together and I can tell you for sure that Telangana Rashtra Samiti which is going to sweep the upcoming Assembly elections, we will also win at least 15 parliamentary seats in Telangana in 2019. We will have a very important role to play in Delhi. Any political party in India which thinks like us and agree with us and have a common fundamental basis in the core belief that the true federalism means empowering states. So we believe very strongly that a few regional parties coming together can certainly dictate who will be in driver’s seat in Delhi after April 2019 and you will see TRS playing a very important role there but i can assure you that it is neither going to be the BJP nor the Congress which will be in driver’s seat in Delhi.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: RSS has been taken from their official website.

Telangana Polls : Only TRS can ensure Muslim welfare: Mahipal Reddy

TRS candidate from Patancheru Assembly constituency Gudem Mahipal Reddy has said that only the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government can ensure overall development of the Muslim community in the State.

Mahipal Reddy, who had an exclusive meeting with minorities in the course of his electioneering in the constituency, said Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had initiated several welfare schemes and development programmes for the benefit of the Muslim community within a short span of four years. The former TRS MLA from Patancheru said the government initiatives had already brought about a perceptible change in the community’s life. The constituency has sizeable minority votes, accounting for 40,000 of the total electorate of 2.8 lakh.

Accusing the Congress of creating communal tensions in old Hyderabad to suit their needs of power politics in the past, Reddy said Chandrashekhar Rao had ensured peace and harmony between communities.

Prior to the meeting with Muslim voters, Reddy visited each and every colony and village in the constituency to mobilise the cadres for the meeting. Stating that construction of a ‘shadikhana’ (marriage hall) was nearing completion in Patancheru, he assured that each and every mandal under Patancheru Assembly constituency would have a ‘shadikhana’. Pointing out that he had promised to take up construction of a ‘shadikhana’ in a two-acre plot on the premises of Idgah in Ameenpur mandal headquarters at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore, Reddy said that he would fulfil the promise in the next tenure.

He said that he would also ensure construction of boundary walls for all the idgahs, dargas, ashoorkhanas and other Muslim religious places to protect them. Following the request of the party workers, Mahipal Reddy said he would set up an exclusive minority cell at the MLA camp office so that the citizens can visit his office any time to know the existing government schemes. The cell will also assist them on how to avail them.

Earlier, a huge rally was taken out prior to the meeting. A record number of women took part in the meeting as several Muslim leaders from the party and TRS took part.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: RSS has been taken from their official website.