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Congress couldn't regain its lost ground

Congress couldn't regain its lost ground

After winning the Karnataka election, the Congress party appears to be confident in Telangana with same belief that it can turn tables by replicating its ‘Guarantees scheme’ here as well.

The Congress party made six promises as it did in Karnataka and using them as major political plank to win the hearts of electorate.

However, the historical data from last three elections presenting a different picture as the Congress party did not cross the magic number even when it has won 2009 election in combined state with clean majority.

Though the 2004 election appears to be an exception, it has won majority of the seats as it was in alliance with Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).

Starting with 2009 in combined state, the Congress party won 48, 21 and 18 seats respectively in 2009, 2014 and 2018 election. The decline of Congress in Telangana has actually started with the formation of TDP.

In the seven assembly elections since 1983, Congress party formed governments in Andhra Pradesh for three times and crossed magic number in Telangana only once.

In 1989, the congress party won the election with comfortable majority but in Telangana it has got only two seats more than the halfway mark.

Similarly, in 2004, Congress party did not cross halfway mark as it has not contested all seats because of the alliance with TRS and left parties. However, in terms of winning percentage, 2004 is the best performance of Congress party after 1983.

After 2004, the Congress party is on continuous decline in terms of number of seats. In 2009 after the delimitation of constituencies, the number of seats in Telangana have gone up to 119 from 107. However, Congress party won only 49 seats in 2009 which was 11 seats away from the magic number. After 2014, Congress has lost its ground completely as the conventional voters also switched to other parties.

Emergence of TRS:

The role of TRS before and after formation of Telangana is to be considered to understand as to how the voting patterns changed across demographics. By giving wider representation to Backward Classes (BCs), the TDP has gained a strong foothold in Telangana. TDP continued to dominate the political landscape of Telangana with an exception to 1989, till 2004 when the TRS forayed into Telangana electoral politics.

Voter distribution among parties:

While the TDP has given political representation to BCs in Telangana, the TRS was formed with self-respect and self-rule narratives. More than the political achievements, the primary agenda of TRS was that to achieve a separate state of Telangana. Though a vast majority of Telangana people supported the cause of separate state, they were a little hesitant to rally behind a political party which is still in its nascent stages.

However, after 2009, the situation has completely changed with separate state movement reached to its peak. The TRS started to grow politically by making inroads into conventional vote bank of both TDP and Congress.

After the dream of separate state of Telangana was achieved in the year 2014, the TRS transformed itself into a complete political party and a vast majority of people especially from BCs, SCs and STs rallied behind the TRS. While the TDP with an Andhra tag started to diminish from Telangana political arena, the TRS has grown leaps and bounds by gaining the confidence of conventional vote bank of Congress party, daliths and minorities.

Welfare, development, and social engineering of KCR:

After coming to power in the newly formed state of Telangana, KCR focussed not only on development of the state and welfare of people but also on social engineering by giving adequate political representation to the neglected sections of the society. His path breaking schemes like Mission Bhagiratha, Mission Kakatiya and Raithu Bandhu proved to be the torch bearers to entire country. While bringing qualitative change among the lives of people, these schemes also brought confidence on leadership qualities of KCR.

Voter exodus from Congress

After 2014, it was not Telangana emotion that has decided the voting trend. People gained confidence with the kind of governance that TRS (now BRS) offered and various sections of Telangana society especially the marginalised sections started rallying behind TRS. These sections are conventional vote bank of Congress.

Fundamentally, the Congress has further weakened with the exodus of minorities and Dalits. Even the BCs who left the Congress long ago in 1983 for TDP, have not returned to it even after the TDP has become insignificant in Telangana politics.

With better political representation and focussed approach in welfare and development of these backwards classes, the TRS cemented its position among the Telangana electorate.

Now, with some scattered urban vocal sections rallying behind Congress party which created a buzz that it has regained its lost ground. However, the Congress party has become weak from its foundations with the exodus of its conventional voters.

The promises that the Congress party made in its manifesto could not win the confidence of electorate instead they are looking at them as impossible schemes which came out of desperation to come to power.


Tags: Telangana Congress Elections 2023