Is BJP going to be reduced to single digit seats in Telangana?

The BJP is gearing up for the Telangana Elections 2023 with an ambitious target of winning at least 60 seats out of the 119 in the state assembly. The party has announced its first list of candidates in September, much ahead of the other parties, and has included several prominent leaders such as Union Minister G Kishan Reddy, former MPs DK Aruna and G Vivek, and former minister Marri Shashidhar Reddy. The party is also trying to woo the voters of Hyderabad by highlighting the development works done by the central government and the failures of the BRS government.  

The ruling party Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS also known as TRS earlier), on the other hand, is confident of retaining its hold on the state, as it enjoys a massive majority in the current assembly with 103 seats. The party has also announced that nearly 90% of its sitting MLAs will get tickets again, indicating that it is banking on its loyal cadre and the popularity of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. The party has also slammed the Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi for betraying the Muslims, who form a significant vote bank in the state.  

The Congress, which is the main opposition party in the state with 19 seats, is facing a tough challenge from both the BJP and the BRS. With Revanth Reddy, a firebrand leader and a vocal critic of KCR, helming it as the state president from June 2023, the party is hoping to revive its fortunes by highlighting the issues of discrepancies in Dharani portal, unemployment, farmer distress and corruption of KCR’s family along with land encroachments. The party is also trying to forge alliances with other parties such as TDP, CPI, CPI(M), and Telangana Jana Samithi to form a united front against the BRS. The Congress is expecting around 30 to 40 seats after its push post Karnataka win. 

The MIM, which has 7 seats in the current assembly, is likely to maintain its influence in the Old City of Hyderabad and some other Muslim-dominated areas. The party’s chief Asaduddin Owaisi has been vocal against both the BJP and the BRS for their policies on CAA, NRC, NPR, and cow protection. The party is also facing competition from other parties such as BSP, YSR Telangana Party, and Jana Sena Party, which are trying to woo the Muslim voters.  

According to some opinion polls conducted in July 2023, the BRS is projected to win around 70 seats, followed by the BJP with 35 seats, the Congress with 10 seats, and others with 4 seats. However, these projections are not true now after Kishan Reddy took over as BJP state president following Bandi Sanjay. 

Given the internal understanding between the BRS and the BJP at the Central level, the BJP is not going aggressively against the BRS and hence, both parties are now targeting the Congress. However, this also means that BJP’s own cadre and leaders remain disappointed with their central leadership while also giving Congress a major fillip in the state. This has turned tables on the number of seats predicted for each party. Interestingly, Congress may take 30 to 40 seats as per the new surveys while BJP could be relegated to single digit.

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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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