The young state of Telangana voted to elect 119 legislators to the state Assembly on December 7, 2018.
The most anticipated question on everyone’s mind in the state and outside of it – is K Chandrashekar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) going to retain power in the state or is the Congress-TDP-led ‘Mahakutami’ going to cause an upset?
The Exit Poll of Polls points to TRS retaining power with a majority. Seven exit polls have confirmed TRS will win the elections with most predicting a majority. In 2014, TRS won 63 seats, INC 21, TDP 15, AIMIM 7, BJP 5, YSRCP 3, BSP 2, CPI 1, CPI(M) 1, and Independent 1.
Total Seats: 119
The diverse outcomes of individual Exit Polls are:
|Republic TV – Cvoter||48-60||47-59||5||1-13|
|Republic Jan Ki Baat||50-65||38-52||4-7||8-14|
|Times Now – CNX||66||37||7||9|
|Maps of India||52||52||7||9|
The elections in Telangana is crucial for its timing and outcome, and it is likely to influence post-poll political alignments at the national level. KCR remains a popular leader across the state. Since 2014, TRS has launched a slew of infrastructure projects like taking drinking water and data lines directly into people’s homes through the same pipeline.
His social schemes in favour of pregnant women in pre and post-delivery stages have won him a lot of admirers. The challenges faced by the party is the same as other states; erratic monsoons, rising costs, poor returns to farmers and creation of new jobs has not kept pace with expectations though TRS has succeeded in attracting investments into Hyderabad in new age areas like defence manufacturing, high technology industries, and pharmaceuticals.
Some exit polls point to the possibility of TRS missing out on the majority mark of 60 seats. Were that to happen, the Congress-TDP-led Makakutami will kick in on an overdrive. The possibilities are tricky, and the outcome could determine the survival of the Grand Alliance as it prepares for the 2019 General elections.
The key player here is Chandrababu Naidu of TDP. The former CM and architect of modern Hyderabad still has a large constituency of fans across the state which look up to him for the work he did during his initial stint as CM of undivided Andhra Pradesh.
Chandrababu Naidu realizes an upset victory for Mahakutami in this election can catapult him into a key player in national politics as he extends his role as a builder of alliances. He has built bridges with regional leaders like Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Lalu Prasad in Bihar, Mayawati in U.P. and most important of all, the INC at the centre. Gains in Telangana will give him the much-needed push to take forward the process of building a larger alliance to take on and unseat the BJP at the centre.
What could upset his plans? AIMIM and BJP’s tricky relationship with TRS. KCR needs Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM’s support since AIMIM won seven of the eight seats in Hyderabad in the 2014 elections. Hyderabad is Owaisi turf, and that’s why BJP wants TRS to junk AIMIM and has extended the promise of support to TRS if it were to move away from AIMIM. Interestingly, the TRS did not put up any candidate against the AIMIM in seven of the eight seats in Hyderabad in this election.
KCR is a sharp politician. He needs BJP’s support to bail out the state with the much-awaited special package but would like to clip their wings in the state. At the same time, he also needs AIMIM’s support for its influence in the Hyderabad region.
TRS strongholds lie outside of Hyderabad; an area BJP seeks to gain influence. Congress-TDP alliance has been calling TRS BJP’s “B” team, and there may be some truth in it. There is a strong likelihood of BJP extending support to TRS in a post-poll alliance to bring the latter into the NDA, as it prepares for the 2019 General elections.
AIMIM on its part wants to keep away from TRS if it allies with the BJP in a post-poll scenario, and may be forced to move closer to the Mahakutami without formally joining it.
In all of this, someone needs to ask – what do the people want beyond the elections? It’s the same as everywhere. People want jobs, better infrastructure, better medical facilities, better education, and social harmony.
Politics apart, which party can stand up and offer these to them at the earliest, is on everyone’s mind. The people have decided, and December 11 will reveal who shall lead the state for the next term.
Exit Polls of the other states