(By Harsha - Political Analyst)

Hyderabad: The semifinals for 2019 general elections, which kickstarted with the polls of Chattisgarh have come to an end with the elections of Telangana and Rajasthan.Telangana, the newly-carved 29th state has for the second time witnessed elections. This nascent state is no doubt catching all eyes of the nation because of the grand alliance, popularly known as the Praja Kutami, which brought together two arch rivals,  Congress and the Telugu Desam party on the same platform. If things work out well for the alliance, it will definitely consolidate all the opposition forces against the BJP in the upcoming general elections. In this context, let us try to get a glimpse into the scenario of Telangana politics with respect to this high-voltage ongoing battle.

When TRS chief Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao, who is popularly known by the name KCR,  dissolved the Assembly, there was no virtual presence of any opposition and people were under the assumption that it would be a cake walk for him and his party. Though KCR might have bagged just 63 seats out of 119 in 2014 elections, with his famous operation "AAKARSH", he nearly emptied the opposition increasing his tally to 93. With attempts to form a federal front for the upcoming finals, KCR was rather under the assumption that he could give himself enough time to gather all the forces at a national level while prematurely dissolving the Assembly. Which is when, with all the anti-KCR forces coming together in Telangana, the grand alliance was forged carefully as a challenge to KCR. Though some discrepancies with respect to seat sharing between the parties involved in the alliance were seen, it was a smooth process with each party acknowledging its strengths, limited to the seats that were offered. 

This Praja Kutami highlighted the promises that KCR could not deliver, such as double bedroom houses, three acres of land to each homeless Dalit family, etc. Realising this, the alliance formed an elaborate manifesto explaining their take on the development of Telangana. Let’s not forget that a good chunk of settlers from Andhra Pradesh spread out in nearly five districts of Telangana, voted for TDP when the movement for separate statehood gathered momentum in 2014. Not only the settlers, the OBC community, who conventionally are strong supporters of TDP have regained their strength and made the vote transfer possible.

Telangana itself was formed on the basis of "Neellu nidhulu Niyaamakaalu" i.e, fair share of water, budgetary allocations and a fair share in employment. This single aspect of employment or rather unemployment was the rallying point for students and youth during the agitation for a separate state. When KCR went back on his promise of one lakh jobs, students turned against him. The educated sections, which backed KCR in 2014, turned against him and backed the alliance. 

The welfare schemes of KCR have without a doubt brought him immense popularity, but the unemployed, who fight the cut-throat competition for government jobs, are none other than the children of those parents, who reaped the benifits and their obvious expectations would be a job for their child, rather than this piece-meal monetary cash benefit.

The anti-incumbency that KCR wanted to get rid of, with the help of BJP eating the votes, turned in favour of Congress. However, BJP will end up eating into the votes of the upper caste in Telangana, which could have otherwise been in favour of TRS, considering they don’t belong to the Congress’s vote bank.

Also, the fact that Congress played its card terming TRS as the “B team” of BJP worked against KCR, along with the 12.5% Muslim votes holding sway in 40 of the 119 Assembly constituencies could work in favour of the Praja Kutami.

Praja Kutami could scrape through with 61 seats, with probable horse trading and AIMIM’s votes that could also play a pivotal part.

Whatever be the analysis, the final judgment of people has been sealed and the result is awaited. However the results be, goosebumps guaranteed.