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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Congress seeks to retain momentum, BJP a better show, BRS reversal of electoral fortunes

The ruling Congress, BRS and BJP are leaving no stone unturned to put up an impressive show in the May 13 Lok Sabha polls in Telangana, prompting an intense 3-way fight in the southern state that saw a change of guard last year after a decade.

Congress, fresh from its win in the 2023 Assembly polls, is keen to repeat the good show while BRS that ruled the state for 10 years and now suffering defections, is striving hard to reverse its fortunes. The BJP, energised with its better poll show-- in terms of seats and voteshare in 2023 state elections, is eager to make more electoral inroads.

While the BJP and BRS have already announced their candidates for all the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, Congress has named its nominees to 14 so far.

The Lok Sabha election is crucial for all the three parties, especially BRS which is facing an existential crisis of sorts following its unexpected defeat in the Assembly elections held in November last year.

The election is also significant for Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy as Congress needs to retain the momentum following its victory in the Assembly polls.

Against the backdrop of its shock defeats in the northern states, Congress looks at Telangana with hope to contribute in significant numbers to its national kitty.

For BJP, Telangana is the only state in the south, after Karnataka, where it sees the possibility to win a good number of seats.

In the aftermath of its unexpected defeat in the Assembly elections, the BRS is now hit by allegations of phone tapping and corruption during the its previous regime. The arrest of party president and former CM K Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter Kavitha in a money-laundering case linked to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy has only added to its woes.

Four police officers have so far been arrested in connection with phone-tapping case.

The BJP has sought a CBI inquiry into the allegations of phone-tapping.

These factors appear to have an adverse impact on the party's prospects in the parliament polls.

BRS has seen desertion of several senior leaders, including MPs and MLAs, to join either the ruling Congress or BJP in recent months.

Rajya Sabha member K Keshav Rao, who was the party's face in Delhi, his daughter and Hyderabad Mayor Vijaya Laxmi R Gadwal, former deputy chief minister and MLAs Kadiam Srihari, Danam Nagender, MPs G Ranjit Reddy and BB Patil are some of the BRS leaders who resigned from the party.

In a major embarrassment to Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS), Kadiam Kavya, daughter of Srihari, quit after her candidature was announced for Warangal Lok Sabha constituency. She is now the Congress nominee from the same seat.

BRS used to be seen as an invincible force till its loss in the Assembly polls and it is expected to come under intense stress in the event of a poor performance in the parliament election.

The BRS, of late, has been trying to reach out to the voters on the issue of water shortage to agriculture with Chandrasekhar Rao, also known as KCR, undertaking visits to fields where the crops have allegedly withered away.

BRS which is facing a demand from some of its leaders and workers that it should revert to its original name of TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samiti), tries to drive home the message to voters that it is the best bet to safeguard the state's interests.

Senior BRS leader Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy told PTI that people remember the performance of the party-led government in various sectors, including drinking water, farmers welfare and others and that it will get a positive vote.

BRS had won nine of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in 2019.

Meanwhile, buoyed by its victory in the Assembly elections, Congress is hopeful of winning a majority of seats. It had won three of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in 2019.

Besides the contesting candidates and other senior leaders, several influential leaders like former MLAs have joined Congress in recent months.

Congress held a major rally in the city's outskirts on Saturday which was attended by top party leader Rahul Gandhi. He elaborated on the party's promises for various sections of society in the AICC manifesto released last week.

Coupled with the energetic campaign by CM Revanth Reddy, the party's selection of candidates based on caste and other key factors is expected to help the party romp home in the hustings.

Congress sources expressed confidence that the goodwill generated by the implementation of the poll 'guarantees', including free travel for women in state-run RTC buses, free power up to 200 units and LPG cylinders for Rs 500, would help the party.

Meanwhile, BJP is banking on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA government's achievements and issues like the construction of Ram temple.

Party spokesperson N V Subhash said the BJP was first to announce its candidates who have already started campaigning.

BJP is reaching out to party activists and voters with programmes like Assembly-wise, polling booth-wise meetings, he said.

BJP leaders took part in 'tiffin baithak' programme of interacting with party activists in polling booths on Saturday on the occasion of the party's foundation day.

The outreach programmes are in addition to the campaign by senior leaders for the Lok Sabha polls, Subhash said.

The saffron party has four MPs in the outgoing House.

Political analyst Ramu Suravajjula felt that the mood is in favour of BJP on the crest of a 'Modi wave' at least in some parts of the state.

The corruption charges, Kavitha's arrest and allegations of phone tapping are having a negative impact on the BRS, he said.

Citing his recent visit in southern Telangana, he said people accorded top priority to internal security and related issues without bothering about party ideologies.

Source : DNA India