If there is one State which is likely to witness a political slugfest, it is Telangana. Besides Mizoram, this is the only one of the five States going for Assembly polls where BJP and Congress are not in a direct fight. KCR of the ruling BRS and Revanth Reddy of Congress are gunning each other for political purposes here.
There are 119 Assembly seats in Telangana and minimum 60 seats are required to form the Government .
BRS(Bharat Rashtra Samiti)’s KC Rao won 88 seats last time and formed the government. The Congress won only 19 seats and the BJP won only one seat. Owaisi won seven seats and hence AIMIM is a factor to reckon here.
The Congress is challenging KCR in these polls. If KCR wins, it will be his third time.
Brief History of Telangana
Telangana is the 28th state of India, which was formed after separation from Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad was the joint capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for ten years. The word “Telangana” means “land of the Telugu speakers”. Now, Hyderabad continues to be the Telangana capital while Amravati has become the Andhra Pradesh capital. Telangana became an independent State in 2014.
The population of Telangana is 84% Hindu, 12.4% Muslim and 3.2% Sikh, Christian and followers of other religions. Telgu and Urdu are spoken in the State whose economy is driven by agriculture. The State is also a key player when it comes to software, computer and information technology.
KCR’s full name is Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao. He was born on February 17, 1954. KCR is the current Chief Minister of Telangana. Along with this, he is also the national president of the Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi. His Party was earlier called TRS (Telangana Rashta Samithi).
KCR is the MLA from Gajwel assembly constituency in Medak district of Telangana. KCR played a major role in the fight for a separate Telangana state from Andhra. Sonia Gandhi supported him for a separate Statehood. KCR is still regarded as a local hero who fought for regional identity.
Congress challenge to KCR
In an interesting political drama, Congress which right now has 19 seats in the State is challenging the ruling BRS. Several exit polls have claimed that Congress will win Telangana. Revanth Reddy is heading the Congress fight here.
According to the exit poll of News-24 and Chanakya, Congress is likely to form a government with a full majority in Telangana. Vibes of India can confirm that Congress is sure to double its tally but cannot confirm if Congress is all set to win more than 75 seats.
Exit polls claim that the BRS tally would go down to 33. BJP which has one seat may increase its tally by seven seats. AIMIM which currently has seven seats is expected to get a bad drubbing. Some say this was their strategy to tacitly help out the BJP.
Gajwel assembly constituency, which comes under Siddipet district, is one of the most popular seats in the state. Here, the state’s Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao is the BRS candidate. At the same time, BJP has fielded Itala Rajender, who was once close to KCR, from this seat. Rajender is currently a BJP MLA from the Hyderabad seat. He served as the first Finance Minister of Telangana from 2014 to 2018 and as the Health Minister of Telangana from 2019 to 2021. Rajender left BRS and joined BJP in 2021.
The last election from Gajwel seat was won by Chief Minister Rao for BRS. He defeated Venkata Rao Pratap Reddy of Congress with a margin of 58,290 votes.
The Jubilee Hills seat in Hyderabad district is also in the spotlight this time due to the claim of former cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin. Azharuddin, who played 99 Tests and 334 ODIs, entered politics in 2009. After joining the Congress, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Muradabad in Uttar Pradesh in 2009. The Congress appointed the former cricketer as the President of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee in 2018. Azharuddin, who is originally from Hyderabad, is contesting from Jubilee Hills this time on the Congress symbol. This did not go down well with the local leaders initially. BRS has fielded the current MLA Maganti Gopinath here. BJP has given ticket to Lankala Deepak Reddy here. Maganti Gopinath of BRS won this seat in the 2018 elections. He defeated P. Vishnuvardhan Reddy of the Congress by 16,004 votes.
This is the Owaisi fiefdom.
Chandrayaan Gutta seat is also a seat which has evinced much interest in Telangana. Asaduddin Owaisi’s brother Akbaruddin Owaisi is contesting from this seat in Hyderabad district. Akbaruddin Owaisi of AIMIM is the current MLA from this seat.
Even before the formation of Telangana, the Owaisis’ have won from this seat. used to win elections from this seat. This time Owaisi is facing a fight from BJP’s Kody Mahendra and Congress’ Boya Nagaesh Narendra. The BRS candidate is M Seetharama Reddy.
In the last election, Akbaruddin Owaisi won. He defeated BJP’s Shahzadi Syed by a huge margin of 80,263 votes.
Karimnagar assembly seat is in the spotlight due to the claim of BJP leader B. Sanjay Kumar. Sanjay has held the position of Municipal Councillor in Karimnagar from 2005 to 2019. After that, in 2019, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Karimnagar. B. Sanjay Kumar was fielded by the BJP for the Telangana Assembly elections in 2014 and 2018. Both times he contested from Karimnagar seat and lost.This time he is facing competition from the current MLA Gangula Kamalakar of BRS. Congress has fielded Purumalla Srinivas here. Gangula Kamalakar of BRS won in the last assembly elections defeating B. Sanjay Kumar of BJP with a margin of 14,974 votes.
K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s son K.T. Rama Rao is the BRS candidate from Serilingapalli seat. KTR is the second biggest face in the Telangana government after the CM. He has important ministries like Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Industries and Commerce and Information Technology, Electronics and Communications. Besides being a MLA and a high profile minister, KTR is also the Working President of the Bhartiya Rashtra Samithi.
In this election, the CM’s son is facing competition from Congress’s K.K. Mahendra Reddy and BJP’s Rani Rudramma Reddy. K.K. Mahendra Reddy, who is a lawyer, is contesting against KTR for the fourth time. Rani Rudramma Reddy, who is a journalist by profession and the party spokesperson, is the BJP candidate.
In the 2018 assembly elections, KTR won the Serilingapalli seat by a record margin of 89,009 votes.
Siddipet seat is also in the spotlight due to the claim of the KCR family. Harish Rao is contesting from here on BRS ticket. Harish Rao is KCR’s extended family. The BRS is putting all its weight behind this KCR nephew. Harish held important ministries including Finance and Health in the state government and is a political heavy weight along with the KCR clan in Telangana.
This time, in the assembly election, Harish Rao is facing competition from BJP’s Dudi Srikanth Reddy and Congress’s Pujala Harikrishna. Srikanth Reddy is the state general secretary of BJYM, while Pujala Harikrishna is the state spokesperson of the Congress.
Harish Rao won the Siddipet seat in the last assembly elections. Harish Rao, who contested on the BRS ticket, defeated Telangana Jana Samiti’s candidate Bhavani Merikanti by a record margin of 1,18,699 votes.
The Gossamahal assembly seat in Hyderabad district is also in the spotlight in the Telangana elections. BJP has fielded its MLA T. Raja Singh here. Raja came under controversy in August 2022, when he made controversial remarks about Prophet Muhammad. Following this controversy, he was suspended by the BJP. His suspension was revoked on October 22, 2023, just before the assembly elections.
BRS has fielded former MLA Madan Lal Vyas’s son Nand Kishore Vyas as its candidate. Nand Kishore is a real estate developer and builder and a social worker. The Congress has fielded Telangana Mahila Congress President Mogili Sunita from this seat.
In the last assembly elections, the BJP won this seat, which was the only seat that went to the BJP. The winner on the BJP ticket, T. Raja Singh, defeated BRS’s Prem Singh Rathore by a margin of 17,734 votes.
It is all about family politics on this seat.
The claim of M. Hanumanth Rao in the Malkajgiri assembly constituency in the 2023 assembly elections has become interesting. In August, the BRS released a list in which the name of Hanumanth Rao’s son Rohit was not included. Hanumanth Rao, the MLA from Malkajgiri, wanted his son to get a ticket from the Medak seat. However, he left the BRS and joined the Congress after not getting a ticket. Hanumanth Rao is now contesting on a Congress ticket. The Congress is banking heavily on him.
The BRS has given the ticket to Malla Reddy’s son-in-law Mary Rajshekhara Reddy, who is a minister in the KCR cabinet. At the same time, the BJP has fielded lawyer Narparaju Ramachandra Rao as its candidate. Former MLC Ramachandra Rao is a member of the BJP’s national executive, president of the BJP’s Hyderabad unit, and a member of the Bar Council of India. Hanumanth Rao won the 2018 assembly elections on a BRS ticket. He defeated BJP’s Ramachandra Rao by a margin of 73,698 votes.
Madhya Pradesh 2023 Election: A Glimpse into the Candidate Pool