Analysts opine that, unlike Gujarat, local issues play a major role in both the Telugu state politics.

Will the BJP be able to breach the Telugu states after Gujarat-Himachal winFile photo: PTI
news Politics Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 12:47

BJP’s electoral triumph in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh seems to have very little impact on the Telugu states despite the hopes of the party top brass of foraying into Telangana and Andhra, according to political observers.

A few analysts who observed the ongoing trend in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh felt that there was no scope for BJP to expand its ground in either of the Telugu states.

Senior journalist TS Sudhir said, “Unlike Gujarat, local issues play a major role in both the Telugu state politics.”

The political landscape in both the Telugu states is dominated by regional parties such as the ruling TRS (Telangana) and TDP (Andhra), and by the YSRCP which is playing the opposition role in Andhra.

Sudhir added, “BJP has a minor role to play in the Telugu states, they lack strong faces who can play either pan Telangana or pan Andhra roles.”

Sudhir, who foresees general elections in 2019 in Telangana, opined, “Essentially it will be a fight between TRS and Congress in Telangana.”

He also stated that while BJP is seen as a party which is denying special status to Andhra, the Congress has still not been forgiven for the state bifurcation.

BJP Telangana state spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao claimed the BJP victory as a “decisive mandate” given by the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

A hopeful Rao said, “Now Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra are under our radar; we will deploy all our strengths to emerge as an alternative.”

When TNM asked him about the “lack of pan Telangana and pan Andhra faces,” he said, “We have shown it in Haryana, Manipur and Assam; people have trust on us and these series of victories are proof that our inclusive development agenda is getting us votes.”

Dubbing the Gujarat development model as a myth, Congress official spokesperson Dasoju Sravan Kumar said, “It is the first time in the history of this country that a Prime Minister has stooped to play caste and communal polarisation aggressively.”

He felt that the 42% increase in the Congress vote share in Gujarat shows the confidence of the people in the party. He said, “In the 2019 elections in Telangana, the BJP will be a spectator for sure. They were always in line with the TRS, they never questioned the government on the farmers suicide issue or when the media was silenced.”

Unlike in neighbouring Telangana, where the Congress is the main opposition party, in Andhra the Congress lost many of its leaders to the TDP and opposition parties.

Despite this, its leaders in AP are hopeful about the 2019 elections in the state. State spokesperson Kolanukonda Sivaji, reminding that united Andhra’s Congress bagged 42 MP seats, said, “Only Congress can fulfill the re-organisation act provisions.”

Sivaji also feels that the union government ignoring AP and the ruling TDP’s silence on asking for special category would help them to bounce back.

He adds, “In Andhra people across all sections still have trust on us, it’s Andari Party (everybody’s party).”

Meanwhile, Andhra BJP MLC Somu Veerraju told reporters that the party would win a majority of the seats in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the 2019 elections.

Senior analyst Telakapalli Ravi doesn’t see any signs of BJP replicating its wins in the Telugu states. He says, “Despite Modi’s high decibel speeches and frequent visits, the Congress gave strong competition. The rise in Congress vote share shows the fading away of BJP’s Gujarat model.”

Foreseeing slight changes in tone and equations in the state, he said, “Going by the decreased BJP vote share in Gujarat and Himachal, it has lost its bargaining ground in Andhra… otherwise the party might have asked for more seats from its ally TDP in the upcoming elections.”

He also adds that the YSRCP, which has been flirting with the idea of an alliance with the BJP for the 2019 elections, “has to definitely rethink.”

Observers also suggest that the not-so-convincing win of the BJP in the two northern states will sharpen the political attacks from the ruling TRS and TDP in Telangana and Andhra respectively.


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