Nearly 40 candidates from the Reddy Community have got tickets to contest from different constituencies across Telangana for the upcoming elections in December 2023. However, only 7 women candidates were given the tickets, excluding KCR’s daughter Kalvakuntla Kavita.
Telangana CM and BRS Chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao revealed the list of candidates in a press conference. While candidates for 115 seats have been announced, what is interesting is that of them, only 9 of them have been replaced by other candidates. The BRS cadre is sending out a message that KCR trusts them and hence, has repeated the same candidates for most of the constituencies.
KCR, who represents Gajwel in the Assembly, will also contest from the Kamareddy constituency. He reiterated he is contesting from Kamareddy at the request of the local leaders and there’s nothing else to peek into it. However, the reality is different. Given that KCR’s daughter Kavita has been embroiled in the Delhi liquor scam and was about to get arrested before the BRS struck a deal with the BJP, the Telangana CM wanted to eliminate any negativity in the neighboring constituency of Nizamabad which Kavitha had earlier contested.
With Arvind Dharmapuri remaining a strong candidate from the BJP against the BRS and Kavitha, KCR wants to ensure that BRS also puts a check to Arvind’s growth, given the mass image and popularity that the Telangana CM has. Following a change in BJP’s state leadership and a dumb-down campaign after Central BJP struck a discreet deal with BRS for Assembly and Parliament elections, looks like this decision for KCR has been made.
Also highlighting the BRS’ bonhomie with the AIMIM party, the Chief Minister in a press conference said “our friendship with AIMIM would continue in the future too, though there would not be any poll pact with them.” In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections too, the pink party will contest all the 17 seats, KCR said, indirectly indicating that the BRS may reserve the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat for AIMIM which is contested by its Chief Asaduddin Owaisi.
According to political experts, KCR retaining many candidates facing anti-incumbency could backfire as many of them have been inactive and have been known for land grabbing and other illegal activities like extortion, etc. Additionally, this could benefit the Congress in the rural belt of Telangana, which is apparently gaining good traction, following its fillip in Karnataka elections. Also, BJP’s less aggressive campaign is likely to hit its chances in the state and also reduce the number of seats to a single digit, say political experts.
While the politricking seems to be reaching its peak in Telangana, many BRS MLAs’ discontent behaviour is also affecting the party’s image in the state. The likes of Mynampalli Hanumantha Rao’s kin and others being denied tickets, there could be an opposition brewing within the pink party that KCR may not easily thwart this time around. It is also clear from this that BRS cannot make any more tall claims and needs to do the work if it is serious about sealing the December 2023 election too. It needs to be seen whether KCR and his family members’ popularity will soar further or burn a hole for them, politically!