If one notices, TDP National President and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has been making public appearances on and off in Telangana. It all started after declaring long-term TDP loyalist Kasani Gnaneswar as Telangana TDP President. Then came few meetings and continuous interactions with Telangana TDP Cadre. Then came an interview and heart-to-heart interaction at the Indian School of Business on their 20th Anniversary. And, the most recent one is the “Chalo Khammam” rally which the party took out in Khammam district of Telangana, known as the hotbed of revolution.
These appearances have made quite some noise and kept people and political circles in Telangana guessing. At a time when TRS got rebranded as BRS and Telangana CM has been pitching himself as an alternative to Modi in India, across different states and at a time when BJP feels it is getting a grip over Telangana and the districts, this sudden appearance of Telugu Desam Party has made quite some waves in the media.
On one hand, the Congress and the BJP are fighting for the BC, Reddy and Brahmin votebank in Telangana seriously and now, with the entry of the TDP again, it looks like it will be a good split of votes for the BRS in the state. Given that Backwards Castes have always been TDP’s strongest votebank and the party has been written off after the 2018 assembly elections in Telangana, this new and refreshing vigour seems to be making a difference with a BC community President for Telangana TDP. As the party sounds the poll bugle with fresh hope for the upcoming assembly elections in the state, what are the issues Telugu Desam Party can bring up in Telangana and convince voters? Here’s a look:
- Clear air on uniting both states again: The TDP can use this as an issue to highlight how KCR and the YSRCP has been unnecessarily raking up the unison of the divided Telugu states. It can also pitch to people on how the TDP in Telangana will strive to develop districts as IT and Services hubs, thereby generating income locally, rather than uniting the states, which is absolutely not feasible.
- Clear air on CM candidate for Telangana: Going in Gujarat’s direction of the BJP, the TDP can always pitch itself as a pro-development party which cares for people. Citing an example of how Gujarat has given 7 terms to the BJP, irrespective of Modi’s presence there, the TDP can use Chandrababu’s image and say that the party is always pro-people, irrespective of who becomes the CM face for their party.
- Focussing on BJP’s and TRS’ disadvantages: While BJP rakes up religion always, TRS makes fake promises. This can be highlighted in a big way through digital propaganda, which could work for the party in regaining lost ground in the state.
- Chandrababu’s legacy of development in Telangana: It is a well-known fact that the development of Hyderabad or Telangana into an IT and services hub is in Chandrababu Naidu’s credit for making it one of the most business-friendly cities in India. Pitching this pro-development image of Naidu to people and how his successors continued the reforms, TDP can win the confidence of Telangana voters, given that the bitterness or sentiment has died down about “Bangaru Telangana” promises from KCR.
If the pitching to voters in Telangana is done rightly, Telugu Desam Party has chances of splitting BRS’ and BJP’s votes while also winning some seats in Andhra-dominant or districts bordering the state.
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.