Telangana: TRS internal surveys hint at anti-incumbency in several constituencies

Across many districts – infighting among leaders, controversies and low performance have contributed to growing discontent among the public.
Telangana CM KCR: TRS internal surveys hint at anti-incumbency in several constituencies
Telangana CM KCR: TRS internal surveys hint at anti-incumbency in several constituencies
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Several recent internal surveys carried out by the TRS have hinted at high levels of anti-incumbency in several constituencies in the state. TNM has learnt that surveys were carried out in erstwhile Warangal, Mahabubabad, Nalgonda, Khammam, Nizamabad, and Mahbubnagar. The surveys have identified discontent among the people and revealed that in many districts, several constituencies have been identified as “weak spots” in the surveys. However, multiple candidates vying for the same seat within Congress and infighting within the opposition parties might end up countering the anti-incumbency in several constituencies.

Once every few months, political parties get internal surveys carried out to gauge the pulse of the people. Apart from surveys done by the state’s intelligence department, political parties periodically rope in external agencies to carry out internal surveys. These surveys help identify problematic constituencies and weak spots where parties would need to put in more effort to win back the confidence of the people.

Sources in the party have revealed to TNM that a dozen constituencies in erstwhile Warangal were surveyed and they have revealed growing anti-incumbency against Dr Thatikonda Rajaiah, TRS MLA from Station Ghanpur, Challa Dharmareddy from Parakala, Banoth Shankar Nayak from Mahabubabad. In Warangal East, there is an ensuing infight between MLA N Narender and Panchayat Raj minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao. The survey also brought to light mandal-wise and village-wise details.

The Station Ghanpur MLA was in news recently after his brother’s name was found included in the list of beneficiaries of the Dalit Bandhu scheme, a flagship programme of the Telangana government. This was found amid allegations from opposition parties that followers and relatives of MLAs were being included as beneficiaries. The same MLA had also made it to the news after photos of him meeting well-known evangelist Brother Anil Kumar, Sharmila’s husband surfaced. There were speculations that the former Deputy CM would join YS Sharmila’s YSR Telangana Party.

Last year, Parakala MLA Challa Dharmareddy was in the news for his remarks made against Dalit officers at Hanamkonda. Dharmareddy who had won on a TDP ticket in 2014, won again with a thumping majority in 2018, after he contested on a TRS ticket. In Mahabubabad, MLA Banoth Shankar Naik has had strained relations with TRS MP Maloth Kavitha. He was in the news after he snatched the mike from the MP while she was speaking at a meeting. 

In the survey in Nalgonda district, Aleru, Bhongir and Thungathurthy are among those identified as problematic constituencies, where anti-incumbency may pose a disadvantage to the sitting MLAs.

In Khammam district Paleru, Ashwaraopeta, Khammam, Kothagudem, Yellandu are now being closely monitored.

In Rangareddy district too several constituencies have been identified for infighting and growing public discontent. In erstwhile Mahabubnagar district, Wanaparthy, Mahbubnagar and Narayanpet constituencies are among those that made it to the same list. Similarly, in erstwhile Nizamabad, few constituencies like Bodhan and Kamareddy are in focus. In Kamareddy, there are two leaders vying for the same ticket and this may benefit the sitting TRS MLA Gampa Govardhan Reddy, despite the anti-incumbency. In nearly 45 constituencies in the state out of the total 119, the TRS has multiple leaders battling it out to impress the leadership.

A senior TRS party leader, on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the party is still confident that they will get another term in the assembly elections. “It is a fact that there is discontent among the leaders in several constituencies. KCR’s welfare schemes have struck a chord with the people of the state. Even if there is any anti-incumbency, the welfare schemes of the government will make up for it. The MLAs who have embroiled themselves in any controversies and earned a bad name, will pay a price as they will not be given a ticket this time,” he said.

Rubbishing claims of BJP gaining ground in the state, the senior TRS leader said, “As much as the BJP tries, they will not be able to gain enough to win the elections. They may gain a few more seats, but that’s about it.”

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