Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the people of Telangana and its culture on Telangana Formation Day on Friday.
He said in his tweet that the state, which came into being on June 2, 2014 by bifurcating the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh, is known for its pleasant weather and the richness of its culture which are greatly admired as well. The PM prayed for the well-being and prosperity of the state.
Telangana assumes significance for the BJP since it is pushing to come to power in the state which has been under the Bharat Rashtra Samithi government under KCR for two terms. The Assembly election is due to be held in the last months of 2023 for 119 seats. So far, the BRS has dominated the state, even winning over MLAs who won on tickets of other parties, including the Congress. The BRS, which was earlier the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, is at the forefront of a non-BJP, non-Congress de factor coalition and has national plans.
In the 2018 election, the BRS formed a government in Telangana by winning 88 seats bettering its previous best of 63 in 2013. The Congress came a distant second with 19 seats. The BRS ally, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen of Asaduddin Owaisi, was third with seven seats. The AIMIM is led by Owaisi’s brother Akbaruddin. The BJP has significant influence in Hyderabad via MLA T Raja Singh has a strong following among Hindu voters in the Old City.
In Telangana, the opposition led by the Congress, Telangana Jana Samithi, the Telugu Desam Party, and the Communist Party of India have announced the formation of a grand alliance, the MahaKootami. The Congress has said that it would leave 25 seats for its allies, 14 to the TDP, 8 to the Telangana Jana Samithi and three seats to the CPI. This alliance plans to defeat the current KCR-led BRS government in the state. The BJP is contesting the elections alone in the state.
The BJP’s Telangana plans have been eclipsed by the defeat in the Karnataka Assembly election. Winning Karnataka was essential to mount a strong campaign in Telangana but the national party is far from throwing in the towel. Eking out a victory in Telangana can balance the loss in Karnataka but will a top heavy campaign like in Karnataka help the cause, remains to be seen.
The BJP has found that the politics in Southern India is different from politics in the Hindi belt. The voters in the south heed their immediate local issues and understand politic equations well. People lack faith in the national party when it comes to state elections, if we look at the data from southern India of their political preference, most states are ruled by regional parties, even if Kerala is ruled by the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front.
Telangana was part of the princely state of Hyderabad ruled by the Nizams. It became part of the Union of India in 1948. In 1956, the state of Hyderabad was dissolved and the 33 districts that comprise Telangana were merged with the state of Andhra Pradesh. The demand for Telangana had picked up in the 1990s and the consequent struggle ended on June 2, 2014 when the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre announced the creation of the state of Telangana.
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