With the Lok Sabha Elections fast approaching, polling agency C-Voter survey has predicted that the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana will repeat their winning streak from the recently-held Legislative Assembly Elections and sweep 16 out of the 17 seats in the state. The survey also predicted that All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi was likely to retain his seat, thereby leaving both the Congress and the BJP with zero seats.
As far as the vote share is concerned, the survey has predicted 42.4% for the TRS, 29% for the Congress-led UPA, 12.7% for the BJP-led NDA and 7.7% for the AIMIM. The numbers reflect the result, if the elections were held in January 2019.
Responding to the survey, TRS Working President K T Rama Rao tweeted, "Delighted that Republic-C-Voter survey is predicting a clean sweep of 16 Loksabha seats for TRS in Telangana." Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi also took to Twitter and responded to the survey, saying, " Inshallah 17 Lok Sabha MPs for Federal Front (16 TRS & 1 MIM )& 0 for Congress & BJP (sic)."
In the recently-held Assembly Elections in the state, the TRS’ vote share stood at 46.9%, while the vote share for the Congress was 28.4%. The BJP had bagged 7% of the vote share. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), both allies of the Congress during the elections, saw a vote share of 3.5% and 0.5% respectively.
It is also unlikely that the Praja Kutami or People’s Front would continue its alliance for the Lok Sabha polls, thereby further decreasing the individual chances of each of the opposition parties.
In 2014, the vote share for the TRS was 34.15% according to Election Commission data. The data, which included both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as elections were jointly held during bifurcation of the state, saw Congress with a vote share of 12.07% and the BJP with 21.82% as it managed to get 4 MLAs in Andhra and 5 in Telangana.
The survey reiterates something that KTR, who is also the son of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has been saying. The TRS Working President has been put in charge of ensuring that the TRS bags all 16 seats barring Hyderabad, where it has an understanding with the AIMIM.
KTR has been holding several meetings and is monitoring the mood on the ground constantly. During a recent meet, he pointed out that the TRS was lagging behind in Khammam, where Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy is the MP, and said that more work needed to be done on the ground.
A boost for the Federal Front
The numbers predicted by the survey will also be a boost for KCR who is looking to form a Federal Front at the Centre. Speaking on December 11 when the Telangana Assembly results were announced, KCR had said that a consortium of regional parties would emerge as an alternative for both BJP and Congress with a national agenda to fulfil the aspirations of the people of the country.
At the time, KCR expressed his intention to take on national politics, stating, “We have the responsibility to make our presence felt in national politics. The intellect of Telangana must be used for the good of India. We are going to play a very crucial role in national politics. We are going to show and give a new definition to the national political situation. There is confusion at the national political level and this needs to change. Unless it changes, the country will not grow.”
He has already met with several leaders on the matter.
Earlier this month, in a significant development, KTR met with YSRCP chief Jaganmohan Reddy at Lotus Pond, the latter's residence in Hyderabad.
Emerging from the meeting, Jagan said, “I spoke to KCR garu on the phone and we discussed about the Federal Front and about the injustice from the Centre to the states. If we want that to change, we need to act. Take special status to Andhra for example. A promise made with the Parliament as witness, was not fulfilled. Many such promises are pending.”
Jagan then spoke about how the two parties together can be a powerful bargaining block.
“If we look at the MP representation of each state, it is not much, which is why even with 25 MPs in AP when we demanded special status, nothing happened. But now, with 17 MPs from Telangana joining hands, it will help our case much better and stronger and the Centre cannot ignore it,” he told the media.
The YSRCP chief is expected to meet KCR soon and hold further talks.