Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2023 > Karnataka Verdict Drives Congress Party to Change Strategy for Forthcoming (...)

Mainstream, VOL 61 No 30-31, July 22 & July 29 2023

Karnataka Verdict Drives Congress Party to Change Strategy for Forthcoming Telangana Assembly Polls | Kandagatla Sravan Kumar

Saturday 22 July 2023


With a couple of months to go for assembly elections in Telangana, the political heat is raging in the state. With the goal of winning the elections, the leaders of the respective parties are taking the stage. As a part of that, the Congress Party is creating activities in a way that is attractive to all sections of the population. The Telangana Congress is planning to give guarantees, like Karnataka. The enthusiasm given by the results of the Karnataka Assembly elections is increasing, but the aggressiveness of the Telangana Congress leaders is increasing day by day. Congress leaders are accusing the ruling BRS party on one side and the ruling BJP at the state and central levels, respectively. Telangana’s Congress Party is confident that it will win the next election. The grand old party is currently concentrating on putting up rural election teams because internal survey results from the Congress show that in the majority of rural regions, there will be a straight fight between the BRS and the party, and in urban seats, there will be a triangular contest between the BRS and the BJP. In 2018, the Congress party in Telangana got 28.4 percent vote share in assembly elections and 29.48 percent vote share in the 2019 general elections. Now the Congress Party thinks that this vote share percentage will increase with the effect of Karnataka results and Anti-incumbency on the ruling party.

The Congress formed the government with an undisputed victory in the Karnataka assembly elections held in May 2023. However, five guarantees and several promises in the manifesto announced by the Congress Party played a key role in this victory. The Congress Party is planning to capture the seat of power in Telangana, just like Karnataka. The Congress is planning to make key promises in the Telangana assembly elections to be held later this year, similar to the promises made in Karnataka after coming to power. Some of the Key promises are, waiver of agricultural loans up to Rs. 2 lakh, LPG cylinder of Rs. 500, stipend of Rs.4,000 per month for every unemployed graduate, and filling of two lakh job vacancies within the year of the formation of the government, minimum support price for agricultural products, increase in financial assistance to farmers under Rythu Bandhu (Farmer’s Investment Support Scheme), promises like an annual job calendar for job aspirants; and electric bikes for girls Key promises are likely to be included in the party manifesto.

The Congress Party has announced that it will take all necessary steps to help farmers. The party announced the “Warangal Declaration for Farmers” in the presence of National Leader Rahul Gandhi, organized on May 6, 2022, in Warangal with different promises for farmers. Based on the strategy used in Karnataka and the crucial role that the youth played in the Congress’ victory there, the Congress Party plans to use the same strategy and course of action to win elections in Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Mizoram, which are scheduled for the end of this year, 2023. The Telangana Congress Party held a “Youth Declaration” in Hyderabad on May 8, 2023. For the upcoming elections, they have given key assurances in this youth declaration with five key promises, which express their stand towards the youth and the unemployed. The Congress leadership announced that, if the Congress party comes to power in Telangana, Congress guarantees, in the name of ’Cheyutha’ (A Social Security Scheme), that it has been promised to provide a pension of Rs. 4,000 every month to the elderly, widows, disabled, beedi workers, single women, stone cutters, handloom workers, AIDS victims, and filarial, dialysis patients. Along with this, they promised to return the wastelands to the tribals. The Congress party is planning to announce the manifesto on September 17, 2023 and, by this time, will also announce the separate BC, SC, ST, minority, and women declarations too.

After registering a resounding victory in Karnataka, the Congress high command is paying special attention to Telangana State in a bid to consolidate the party; the Telangana Congress has initiated ‘Operation Ghar Wapsi’ (Return to the Home Party) with the former leaders. Senior leaders who left the party, are being contacted and convinced to re-join. The primary objective of Operation Ghar Wapsi has two strategies. First, is to welcome senior leaders who left the party and are being contacted and convinced to re-join. The second is to target leaders who are dissatisfied with the ruling BRS party and the BJP. Ultimately, the success of Operation Ghar Wapsi and putting up a strong fight will lead to better results in the polls. In order to oppose the ruling party, state-level leaders and former ministers from various parties have already joined the Congress party, which will help the Congress party win more seats and take power.

The party intends to give the weaker groups, who make up more than half of the population, proper priority when it comes to the allocation of seats. In the upcoming assembly elections, Congress intends to provide more seats, with at least two or three members in each parliament, to candidates from backward classes (BCs). Along with the allotment of assembly seats, it has been decided to give due priority to party posts. For that, the Congress party is making huge plans to attract those castes in BCs. The Party has already announced that declarations will be made according to social groups. As part of that, the party leaders are working hard on what to do for the BCs. If elected to power in the forthcoming assembly elections, the Telangana Congress would increase the reservations for the BCs in the education and employment sectors from the current 29% to 40%. Additionally, the party will increase the BC quota in elections for rural and urban local bodies to 40%. In order to ensure compliance with the 50% overall ceiling set by the Supreme Court of India, the present BRS government decreased the BC quota in local body elections from 34% to less than 23% in 2018. The Congress Party is planning to give financial support to BC caste-based occupations, a special package for most backward classes if they win the forthcoming elections.

Finally, the influence of the Karnataka elections may be considered to have spilled over into Telangana. Following the Congress’s victory in Karnataka, the Telangana Congress’s leadership and strategy have shifted. Efforts are being made in Karnataka and Telangana to execute the tactics and social mobilization with caste equations. The Congress party has stated in many announcements that if it wins the election in Telangana, it will fulfil the promises made in the Manifesto, as it accomplished in Karnataka. In addition, as part of societal mobilization, the party intends to prioritise BCs by giving more seats in the forthcoming Polls. With the influence of Karnataka, the Telangana Congress Party has a type of fresh zeal; the party would implement all provided promises and develop new policies, unlike the ruling party in the State. In any case, post-Karnataka results, the BRS party is working hard to come to power for the third time, the new promises of the Congress party with these guarantees and social mobilization strategies, and the expansion of the BJP party, on the one hand, there is a doubt among the people and intellectuals about which party will come to power in the forthcoming Polls. But after the Karnataka election, the Telangana Congress Party was resurgent. The Congress leaders are sure that the promises offered by the Congress party and the priority it plans to offer to the backward classes as part of social mobilization with caste equations will undoubtedly win the next election. In the Karnataka elections, not only the guarantees given by the Congress party but also the unity of the Congress leaders played a vital role in their victory. Similarly, the leaders of the Telangana Congress Party are also united and trying to get the verdict of the people in Karnataka to bring the Congress Party to power in Telangana as well.

According to Congress leaders, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who oversaw the elections in Karnataka and was instrumental in bringing the Congress party to power, is now overseeing the elections in Telangana. She is working for the altar of the Congress Party in the southern states and utilizing Sunil Kanugolu and Sasikanth Senthil’s election strategies from Karnataka, which will be helpful for the Congress Party’s ascent to power in Telangana. As expected, the Telangana Congress Party has several key obstacles, including not being in power for two terms, lack of cohesion and internal disputes among the state leaders in the party, not supporting young leaders, and a desire to apply the same success formula from Karnataka to Telangana State too.

(Author: Dr. Kandagatla Sravan Kumar is a Ph.D. (Sociology) holder from Kakatiya University, Warangal, Telanagana State. Presently, he is working as an Academic Counsellor, at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Warangal, Telangana State. e-mail: sravankuc[at] )

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy|
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.