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Countdown to the 2023 Telangana Assembly Election: Strategies and Rallies


Nine years after the establishment of the state, with BRS (formerly Telangana Rashtra Samithi) as the ruling party, it now confronts numerous challenges in securing a third term in the upcoming assembly elections. The regional party is under threat from a resurgent Congress, as well as the BJP, which is attempting to establish a foothold in the state

Historical Election Results : Telangana State
Assembly Elections Seats (2014) Seats (2018)
BRS 63 88
INC 21 19
AIMM 7 7
BJP 5 1

Source : ECI

The current Chief Minister, K. Chandrashekhar Rao, spearheaded the movement for Telangana's separate statehood, earning him immense popularity among the state's residents. However Congress, buoyed by its recent victory in Karnataka, has emerged as a credible contender in the state. The party enjoys significant support, indicating a neck to neck competition between the two. While the BJP is not expected to win many seats, its presence could sway some votes, potentially impacting the outcome for either of the main parties making this assembly election a triangular contest.

The ruling BRS in Telangana celebrated the state's formation with an extensive 21-day event this year, highlighting KCR's crucial role in the statehood movement. KCR is depending on these sentiments to secure a third consecutive term. However, Congress is also trying to take credit for the party's formation as the UPA government at the Centre in 2009 approved the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. One of Congress's six strategies involves granting 250 square yard plots to Telangana movement fighters.

The BRS government, which currently holds power, faces severe criticism from rival parties regarding alleged corruption, rising unemployment and unfulfilled promises. The BJP party accused BRS of rampant corruption and equating their actions to "daylight dacoity" and claims there has been a lack of development in the state. According to BJP, the BRS rule has led to the enrichment of specific families, such as the BRS, and KCR families, while the common people of Telangana have suffered.

Congress, drawing inspiration from the successful "Pay CM" campaign in Karnataka, launched 'THE DEALER – All dealings are done here,' a social media initiative targeting alleged illegal activities involving the BRS government. The corruption allegations by Congress focus on misappropriation of funds, particularly in projects like Kaleshwaram lift irrigation, where Congress claims that thousands of crores were syphoned off. Additionally, they highlight the sale of significant assets, like the outer ring road, which the previous Congress government had built but was allegedly sold off by the BRS government.

On the other hand, BRS defends its position by highlighting significant schemes such as Mission Kakatiya (restoration of defunct irrigation tanks) and Mission Bhagiratha (bringing piped drinking water to every doorstep) and major irrigation projects that have led to the development of the state. They emphasise their provision of round-the-clock, free-of-cost power supply to farmers, in contrast to other states like Karnataka,where the Congress government allegedly provides only limited hours of power to the agriculture sector. Recently Congress TPCC chief received criticism for ridiculing the Rythu Bandhu scheme and claiming three hours of power was enough to cultivate three acres of land in the USA. The BRS government is essentially relying on the sentiment that all the welfare schemes given by the KCR government would be lost forever if Congress comes into power. Following are the Initiatives targeting welfare and empowerment in Telangana:

Initiative Target Beneficiaries Population Coverage Benefits Provided
Kalyana Lakshmi Families from SC, ST, BC, EBC, minority communities 86.53% Rs 1,00,116 financial aid during daughters' marriage
Rythu Bandhu Farmers 36% Rs 5,000 per acre per season
Dalitha Bandhu Eligible Dalit families 18.20% Rs 10 lakh for self-employment
Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana Rural poor 7.51% Construction of durable houses (5.04 lakh completed)
2 BHK Housing Scheme Urban and rural impoverished population 5.88% Construction budget of Rs 11,917 crore
Aasara Pensions Elderly, widows, disabled individuals, weavers, toddy tappers 82% Monthly pension disbursements
Arogya Lakshmi Pregnant and lactating women, children under six years 8.38% One nutritious meal daily with essential components

Source of Table: Telangana State Statistical Abstract

PM Modi strategically announced the formation of a national turmeric board addressing a long-standing demand of farmers, just days before the state's election schedule. This move was aimed at garnering support from the farming community. In response, KTR, the working president of BRS criticised the announcement, questioning its sincerity and implying it might be a political gimmick. He expressed scepticism by comparing it to the unresolved issue of the women's reservation bill, suggesting that the turmeric board might not materialise as promised.

Telangana faces an unemployment crisis due to cancelled TSPSC exams, leaving frustrated youth in search of stable jobs. Rival parties have slammed the ruling party for exam paper leaks as well as rising unemployment soaring at 15.1%. They have also highlighted unfulfilled promises of BRS of creating one lakh government jobs and have pledged youth job opportunities and skill development if voted into power.

The BJP government has pledged to appoint an individual from the OBC caste as the Chief Minister of the state, challenging the BRS government to do the same. They argue that parties like BRS and Congress are family-centric, aiming for individuals like Rahul Gandhi and KCR's son to hold positions like the PM or CM. The Congress party is attempting to gain the support of the OBC community. However, this task is challenging because the party is widely recognized as the "Reddy party" due to a significant number of candidates that contest belong to the forward caste background. Although they have promised a caste census here in Telangana as well and have prominent dalit leaders it might not be enough.

According to the Congress, there is an alleged "understanding" between BJP, BRS, and AIMIM. Congress repeatedly questions the reasons behind BRS's support for the BJP on various occasions, such as during the demonetisation period. Regardless of the accuracy of these allegations, the perception of these parties collaborating is enough to raise concerns. BJP has found to shake off these claims challenging. AIMIM which is contesting for nine seats in Hyderabad, led by prominent leader Asaduddin Owaisi who openly expresses its support for BRS and has unabashedly called upon Muslim voters in the state to vote for BRS.

Congress has promised six key schemes and policies that might help them win over the election. In the lead-up to the elections, both the Congress and BRS parties have unveiled ambitious welfare schemes aiming to capture voters' attention. Congress announced six guarantees, namely, Mahalakshmi, Rythu Bharosa, Gruha Jyothi, Indiramma Indlu, Yuva Vikasam and Cheyutha. Under these schemes they have promised benefits like a monthly stipend of Rs 2500 for women, affordable LPG cylinders, Rs 4000 monthly pension and free RTC bus travel. They also emphasised enhancing existing schemes like Rythu Bandhu and providing free electricity and constructing government schools in every district.

On the other hand, BRS, led by KCR, countered with competitive offerings, including a Rs 3000 stipend for poor eligible women and extensive health insurance coverage up to Rs 15 lakhs among others. They also raised the Rythu Bandhu monetary incentive significantly, offering up to Rs 16,000 annually, surpassing Congress' promise of Rs 15,000, which currently stands at Rs 10,000 per year. Both parties focused on bolstering welfare schemes while the BJP government continues to highlight welfare schemes at the centre.


Will the BRS government overcome anti-incumbency sentiments and secure a third consecutive term, or will people give Congress a chance? This question lies at the heart of the Congress party’s campaign focus. Telangana was founded on the promise of improved opportunities, employment, and overall growth, reflecting the aspirations of its people. However, many of these promises remain unfulfilled, fostering a desire for change among the populace. The growing support for the Congress indicates a shift in public sentiment, although the ultimate choice remains uncertain.

Sara Nasreen

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