TBA Opinion

What helped Congress win Telangana & the lesson for BRS  

Anumula Revanth Reddy, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Chief took a big leap of faith in 2021 when he left his alma mater Telugu Desam Party and joined the Congress. At the time of joining, many mocked him for his decision as the grand old party was known to be a lackadaisical one in terms of decision-making. Apart from this, following Telangana state formation in 2014, BRS could retain its strength and handicap Congress due to the lack of unity among its own leaders as well as every leader assuming themselves to be “CM material.”

In the Telangana Assembly Elections, the Congress under Revanth Reddy emerged victorious with 64 seats of the total 119 while the BRS secured 39 seats while the BJP and MIM got 8 seats and 7, respectively. Following this, the Congress staked claim to form the government by meeting Telangana Governor, Tamilisai Sounderrajan. 

However, looking at the election trends in Telangana, the following seem to be the reasons for Congress’ gain and BRS’ loss: 

  1. Kavitha’s name in the Delhi liquor scam weakened the BRS in the state and in front of the BJP. Due to this, the BRS had to make amends and struck a secret deal with the BRS in Telangana. 
  2. As a consequence of BRS-BJP back-door understanding, a change in BJP’s state-level leadership where Kishan Reddy was replaced with Bandi Sanjay, as its Telangana Chief, happened. This came as a big blow, not just for the BJP cadre, but also their leaders who were expecting a good fight with BRS after their bypoll wins. 
  3. Until before this secret understanding, Congress was never in the race and the fight was strongly between the BJP and the BRS. However, the weakening of BJP’s campaign gave space for the Congress under Revanth Reddy to strengthen itself. 
  4. Congress’ social media game in the state was top-notch. It gave a tough fight to the TRS and also influenced voters well. BRS’ sheer arrogance, their open threats in public, anti-Andhra jibes and statements along with allegations of heavy land encroachments, creation of real estate cartels and artificial pricing boom in Telangana, discrepancies in Dharani portal and a huge anti-incumbency factor against nearly 30 sitting MLAs caved the party in. 
  5. The Congress’ victory isn’t about the Congress or Rahul Gandhi’s magic. But, the credit goes to Revanth Reddy who managed to drive cadre and other leaders in his support while also carving a niche for himself as a leader capable of being the CM-candidate from the Congress party. The support from Priyanka & Rahul Gandhi which he enjoyed also made him CM material indirectly, in a party that is known for its lame decision-making. 
  6. Overall, Revanth succeeded in reflecting BRS’ arrogance to people, especially in rural areas. On the other hand, because he’s not a Congress-bred leader, he could stand out and carve a niche and grow within the party. 

While the BRS ushered in new hope and development in the newly formed state from 2014 to 2023, it is time for a change in guard. Looks like Telangana will now have a breath of fresh air in terms of Revanth Reddy who will end the Andhra-Telangana bitterness and progress towards strengthening the state’s democratic spirit (which the BRS trampled) and also lead the state towards growth, in harmony.

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Tejaswini Pagadala

Communications Consultant: TEJASWINI PAGADALA is an independent communications consultant. She has previously worked with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office as the Communications Officer where she has written English speeches for the CM, managed English media communication from the CMO and handled social media accounts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Government.
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