Elections to 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana will be held on April 11, 2019. The Election Commission of India announced on Sunday that the state will see a single phase election. The counting of ballots for the entire country will be held on May 23.
The Election Commission will begin accepting candidate nominations from March 18 and the nomination scrutiny will begin on March 26. The last date of withdrawing candidate nomination will be on March 28.
The political contest in Telangana will largely be between the TRS, and the Congress, with BJP as a third player. The ruling TRS will hope to keep their momentum going, with the party having won a sweeping mandate in the Assembly Elections that were held in December 2018. The TRS also went on to win the Panchayat elections in January.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who has made his national ambitions known, has been attempting to forge a Federal Front with regional parties. While it has received a lukewarm response from those like West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, KCR has won the support of YSRCP’s Jaganmohan Reddy.
The TRS, however, will field candidates only in 16 Lok Sabha seats, leaving the Hyderabad uncontested for their ally MIM led by Asaduddin Owaisi. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections TRS had won 11 seats and the MIM 1.
Playing on the back foot will be the Telangana Congress Pradesh Committee (TPCC), the party lies in tatters in the state post the humiliating defeat in the recent Assembly polls. And most recently, within a span of one week 3 MLAs from the party defected to the TRS. There is dissent within the party and the local cadre are an unhappy lot. This despite several visits by Congress President Rahul Gandhi t to the state.
The BJP had in 2014 won 2 Lok Sabha seats but the party has been unable to increase their voter base in the state. The national party was reduced to a single seat in the recent Assembly polls and have only the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma to bank on. The party has also been fairly inactive in state politics.
A noticeable absentee from the Lok Sabha election frenzy in Telangana will be Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which may not field candidates in the state. The TDP is already fighting a multi-cornered battle in Andhra Pradesh against the YSRC, BJP, Jana Sena and against their new-found ally the Congress, in both Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections.