The poll bugle has been sounded in Telangana, with the State Election Commission (SEC) notifying elections in 120 municipalities and nine municipal corporations across the state. With all opposition parties aiming to perform their best, for K Tarakarama Rao (KTR), however, these elections are a litmus test as the working president of the party, as well as the Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Industry and Commerce, Information Technology.
KT Rama Rao, along with five other MLAs, was inducted as a Telangana minister during the Cabinet expansion that took place in September 2019.
Though the main battle in these elections will be between the Congress and the TRS, the BJP is positioning itself as an alternative as well, after the boost it received in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, where it won four seats.
KTR has already held review meetings with party cadres about the strategy to adopt in the election campaigns. All the constituency in-charges have been directed to participate in door-to-door campaigns, to spread awareness about the schemes adopted and the development that has taken place under the K Chandrasekhar Rao government.
Recently, KTR called Congress the main opposition party to the TRS, leaving out BJP.
The municipal elections will be the second local body elections after the Zilla Parishad elections, where the TRS emerged as the largest party, winning all the 32 Zilla Parishad (District Governing Body) under KCR’s leadership.
With over 79.94 lakh voters, 120 municipalities and 9 municipal corporations will go to polls on January 22.
According to sources, KTR will be holding roadshows and meetings across the districts. Besides KTR, six other ministers, including Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Danam Nagendar, Harish Rao will also be part of the campaign.
The Telangana government has formed at least seven new municipal corporations and 14 municipalities in the outskirts of greater Hyderabad. The party is considering these new segments, which earlier were under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporations, as crucial in the long run.
Urban issues such as roads, drinking water and infrastructure development are likely to influence the elections. A source from the party told TNM, “We are confident that we will sweep the elections in all the corporations. The development of small towns and cities and the government’s populist schemes will definitely result in wins."
He added that the selection of candidates for the elections is also taking place in a very “transparent and inclusive manner".
For the TRS, which completed one year of its second tenure in the government, the municipal elections are going to be an annual examination. All the second-rung leaders of the TRS are trying to get tickets for their allies.
Meanwhile, the Congress, BJP and the TDP are also stepping up and are looking for candidates that will help them secure wins.