T’gana Gets First Congess Govt in 2023 After State Formation; LS Polls Crucial for Cong, BRS, BJP

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Riding to power on the back of its six ’guarantees’, the Congress formed its first government in Telangana in 2023, humbling the mighty BRS but Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy has his task cut out to ensure the momentum continues in 2024 to see the party emerges victorious in the Lok Sabha polls.

Hailed as the architect of the grand old party’s southern success amid an unimpressive electoral show in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, the energetic Reddy needs to ensure Congress pockets as many Lok Sabha seats as possible out of the 17 segments up for grabs, to consolidate his position.

The Lok Sabha polls are equally crucial for the K Chandrasekhar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) and the BJP as well. While the BRS would seek to put behind the 2023 loss, BJP would aim to make further inroads in the state as part of its plans to put up a better show in the South. In the 2019 polls, the BRS, then TRS, won 9 seats, BJP four and Congress 3. BRS’ ally AIMIM won one seat.

Soon after coming to power in December 2023, the Congress government had announced implementation of free travel for women in state-run RTC buses and a health scheme of Rs 10 lakh coverage to the poor that are part of the six poll ’guarantees’. However, the onerous task of implementing the other ‘guarantees’ which involve huge financial costs awaits the Congress government in the new year.

The BJP, which emerged as a principal challenger to the BRS at one point of time after winning a couple of by-polls and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections, before the November 30 Assembly polls, ended up doubling its vote share to nearly 14 per cent besides winning 8 seats in the 119-member House.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who visited Telangana on December 28, set a target for the party to win at least 10 seats and secure a 35 per cent vote share in the state in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

For the KCR-led BRS, the Lok Sabha election will be key to come out of gloom and to stay in the reckoning in the aftermath of its loss in the Assembly polls. KCR had renamed the TRS as BRS in 2022 to expand the party’s footprint beyond Telangana but the failure in the Assembly election may have derailed his plans and clarity would emerge in a few months.

The BRS (then TRS) was a formidable force even before the formation of Telangana in undivided Andhra Pradesh with its USP being the ‘champion of Telangana’s interests’.

The state emerged in 2014. However, after a decade of its rule, allegations of inaccessibility of leaders to the people, promotion of family rule and unfulfilled promises like double bedroom houses for poor seem to have been BRS’ undoing in the polls.

Among other major developments during 2023, the BJP had replaced its firebrand state unit president and MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar with Union Minister G Kishan Reddy in July which some analysts claimed did not go down well with the party cadre and voters.

The piers of the Medigadda barrage of mega Kaleshwaram project ‘sinking’ shook the state beginning October as it snowballed into a major controversy and a key election issue. The National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) had found that the Barrage was severely compromised, rendering it useless unless fully rehabilitated.

The state got its new Secretariat in April, 2023 with the then Chief Minister KCR inaugurating the grand building complex. Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan had visited the new Secretariat with the Rao welcoming her in his capacity as CM though the frosty ties between the previous BRS government and the Governor continued during 2023 as well.

The BRS chief suffered a hip fracture after a fall recently. The leak of question papers of the recruitment tests conducted by the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) dominated the headlines during the bygone year.

The impact of the leak and cancellation of some exams was such that it is cited as one of the reasons for the disenchantment of youth, especially the unemployed ones, with the then BRS government.

The state witnessed two major fire accidents during 2023 with six persons losing their lives in a tragedy in a high-rise commercial complex at Secunderabad and another 10 people were killed in a blaze in a five-storey residential building in Nampally area in the city. In the world of sports, state-based shuttlers Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy made the country proud by winning a gold medal at the Asiad.

Ace boxer Nikhat Zareen, who hails from Nizamabad, continued to make Telangana proud by securing a bronze medal in the Asian Games. The Congress government rewarded her with a bounty of Rs 2 crore.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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