The Telangana Rashtra Samithi party has kicked off their election campaign in Telangana by holding public meetings in quick succession and announcing the list of candidates contesting immediately, but parties of the Mahakutami (grand alliance), comprising Congress, TDP and CPI, are still squabbling over the seat sharing.
However, the Congress leaders have stated that they are still in the contest and the delay has shown them the right weapon to overthrow the KCR-led government – leaders say that they want to tap into the Backward Caste (BC) vote bank, which has been unhappy over their poor political representation.
The Congress Screening Committee has reportedly agreed to give 30 seats to the candidates from the Backward Caste community. This was corroborated by a senior Congress leader, who is a sitting MLA. Though the MLA was not sure of the figures, he said that the seats offered to the BC community would be more than the last time.
According to him, the Congress party has learnt of the strong dissent from the BC community, who were dissatisfied with the party. He also added that KCR had committed the blunder of neglecting the BC community, which the Congress wants to use against him.
“KCR has given tickets only to the wealthy Reddys. There are hardly any BC leaders. Though he may have been championing the cause of the Backward Community by asking for more representation in his speeches, his duplicity was exposed after TRS candidates were announced. There are less than 20 candidates from the community,” he told TNM.
Another senior Congress leader said that there is turbulence in the party over the BC leaders being neglected. “There is a growing concern among BC leaders in the Congress party that they want their right political share appropriate to their population. In this regard, there is pressure. It is a political necessity for Congress to ensure that BCs are given their rightful share,” the Congress leader said.
The Congress leader also added that they were looking at particular leaders for particular constituencies.
In the candidates announced so far by the TRS, more than 30 leaders are from the Reddy community, who were the decisive factor in ensuring which party wins the elections. However, post the bifurcation of the state, their vote share had reduced significantly.
The TRS has announced the names of 107 candidates contesting from 119 constituencies. While the names of 105 candidates were announced shortly after the cabinet was dissolved on September 6, two more candidates, representing the Zaheerabad and Malakpet constituencies, were announced on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Telangana Congress Committee in-charge RC Khuntia said that their list of candidates will be announced in the first week of November.