Highlights

  • BJP or AIMIM or both together could play the kingmaker
  • KCR has remained in power for the past 10 years

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While the battle is largely bipolar, the Bharatiya Janata Party BJP and All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen is in the mix and is set to make the election for 119 seats interesting.

 Telangana Election 2023: will Congress and BJP spoil KCR's attempt at returning for third time

Exit poll predictions have laid the fight bare in the southern state of Telangana with a resurgent Congress predicted to take the regional and ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi head-on.

While the battle is largely bipolar, the Bharatiya Janata Party BJP and All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is in the mix and is set to make the election for 119 seats interesting. If any of the two main parties fall short of the majority 60-seat mark, the saffron party and the political outfit based in Hyderabad could play the kingmaker.

The following factors are likely affect the result.

1-Anti incumbency

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is aiming for a hat-trick of electoral victories after winning the polls in 2014— in united Andhra Pradesh— and in Telangana in 2018.

Initially thought to be a one-sided fight, the Congress which had witnessed waning of its foot-hood in the state, has sprung a surprise and by the end of campaign is being seen as a serious contender. In 2014, despite splitting Andhra Pradesh in to two states, the grand old party saw its fortunes fade in the 2018 assembly elections. In 2014, the BRS (then Telangana Rashtriya Samiti), had swept the election, riding on the agitation for the state hood led by Rao.

2- Bipolar contest but scope for BJP?

The BJP may have unleashed its top leadership including Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the campaign but on the ground the fight remains bipolar.

While BRS is keen on extending its winning run, the Congress has put up a spirited fight to win the polls in the newest state of India. Any of the two main contestants falling short of majority means that BJP and AIMIM could come into play.

The ruling party won 88 seats in 2018 elections and is confident of victory this year. BRS named 115 out of 119 incumbent candidates in August to give a head-start to their campaigning.

3-Muslim Votes

Telangana's Muslim population holds the key for at least 45 of 119 assembly constituencies. The minority group has the potential to sway the election results either in favour of Congress or the BRS or bring it down to a neck to neck fight between the two.

While the Congress has been making an all-out effort to lure Muslims, but with Assad-ud-din Owaisi’s AIMIM backing BRS, the possibility of Muslim vote getting divided remains.

The BJP has announced that it would remove the 4% reservation being given to Muslims, thus setting clear focus on the division of Hindu voters between the BRS, the Congress and the saffron group.

4-Corruption & ‘BJP-BRS BHAI BHAI’

The Congress has kept a focused attack to create a narrative that BRS and the BJP were hand in glove when it came to what it called rampant corruption. Political analysts feel that with KCR meeting Modi and the Congress narrative to claim bonhomie between the BRS and the BJP may hurt Rao’s poll prospects.

The ruling party has faced accusations that it overlooked the TSPSC (Telangana State Public Service Commission) paper leak and rampant unemployment. With central agencies probing chief minister Rao’s daughter, K Kavitha, in the allegedly Delhi excise scam case, the narrative of being a corrupt party has stuck. The Congress has claimed that Enforcement Directorate went soft on her as the two parties have reached a compromise.

5-Resurgent Congress

The resounding victory of the Congress in the Karnataka Assembly polls has changed the political narrative for the grand old party in neighbouring Telangana.

Though it managed only 19 seats in the last elections, the Congress has become a clear challenger to the BRS this time round.

After successfully wooing the Karnataka voters with their 5 guarantees, Congress has promised 6 guarantees to Telangana. (GFX - Rythu Bharosa, Cheyutha, Yuva Vikasam, Gruha Jyoti, Mahalaxmi Guarantee, Indiramma Indlu)

The promises on the lines of 'guarantees' being fulfilled in neighbouring Karnataka appear to prove advantageous.

6-Kamareddy & Gajwel segment

KCR, who represents Gajwel in the assembly, is fighting the elections from two segments – Gajwel and Kamareddy— in 2023. Both constituencies are witnessing exciting contests. While Congress has fielded its state president Revanth Reddy to take on the chief minister in Kamareddy, BJP has fielded Katipally Venkata Ramana Reddy. The Congress has claimed that CM fighting from two seats is an admission of defeat before the fight began.


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