Telangana BJP leaders file nominations for Lok Sabha polls as parties flex muscles for 13 May showdown

The principal parties in the fray - the ruling Congress, the opposition BJP and the BRS - are already in the thick of campaigning to brighten the prospects of their candidates.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Apr 18, 2024 | 3:25 PMUpdatedApr 18, 2024 | 7:41 PM

Telangana LS polls BRS BJP Congress

With the Election Commission of India (ECI) issuing the notification for the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections on Thursday, 18 April, the irreversible process of deciding the fate of the candidates seeking election to 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana began in right earnest.

The principal parties in the fray – the ruling Congress, the opposition BJP and the BRS – are already in the thick of campaigning to brighten the prospects of their candidates.

The Congress and the BJP contestants are in the bullring, flexing their muscles to gain upper hand, while the BRS is struggling to reverse the perception that it is party that is skating on thin ice.

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BJP ahead of other parties in campaigning

Already Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have already visited Telangana and are scheduled to attend a few more meetings in the future as the campaign gathers momentum for the 13 May election.

The party has already announced candidates for 17 Lok Sabha seats, and surprisingly, it is ahead of the other parties in campaigning.

The well-oiled juggernaut of the party started rolling a few months ago. The party aims to win at least 10 to 12 seats which may be an ambitious target given it’s marginal presence in the state.

The party surprised the party leaders and workers by winning four Lok Sabha seats in 2019 elections, immediately after losing the Assembly elections in 2018, which was a monumental disaster as it won only one of the 119 seats.

In the Assembly elections on 30 November 2023, the party won eight seats which is considered an achievement compared its dismal and lackluster performance in 2018.

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Congress yet to name remaining candidates

The Congress has already taken a deep dive into the campaign after declaring candidate for 14 of the 17 seats. The party is yet to announce the names for Karimnagar, Khammam and Hyderabad.

It has set for itself a target of 14 seats as against three seats it won in the last general elections in 2019.

The party is riding on the crest of popularity wave that has built up after its sensational victory in the Assembly elections in November last year, demolishing the seemingly invincible BRS monolith.

Recently, party senior leader and MP Rahul Gandhi addressed a huge a rally in Thukkuguda in Hyderabad, where he unveiled the party’s five guarantees for the nation and the party’s manifesto.

Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy has been addressing public meetings in Telangana and elsewhere in the country to drum up support for the Congress candidates.

Also Read: Telangana school officials booked by police over ‘saffron dress’ row

BRS trying to keep party’s flag flying high

BRS sueprmo K Chandrasekhar Rao, though he underwent a hip replacement surgery in December last year, hit the ground running after his discharge from the hospital and recuperation at home.

He has already addressed a couple of public meetings and took part in farmers’ outreach programmes in an attempt to keep the party’s flag flying high.

The notification for the by-election for Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly seat was also issued on Thursday, 18 April, kicking off the process to fill the vacancy in the State Assembly following the untimely death of incumbent BRS legislator G Laasya Nandita in a car accident near Hyderabad in February.

When the nominations opened, BJP leaders Eatala Rajender and DK Aruna filed their nomination papers on the first day itself, for Malakjgiri and Mahabubngar Lok Sabha seats respectively.

The two leaders performed poojas and later led huge rallies before filing their papers.

In Malakajgiri, Rajender led a procession of party workers to the collector’s office of the Malakjgiri district and filed his papers.

He set out from his house in Shamirpet after conferring with central ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and G Kishan Reddy. On the occasion, Rajender said that his victory would be unprecedented and beyond the ken of the regular survey agencies.

He described the battle as one that was taking place between dharma and adharma.

In Mahbubnagar, Aruna filed her papers at the Mahbubnagar collectorate as party senor leader and Rajya Sabha member Dr K Laxman accompanied her.

Also Read: ECI issues notice to BRS chief KCR for derogatory remark against Congress

Electoral trends

This time, the CPM is contesting from Bhongir, while the CPI has not yet decided from where it should contest. The two parties are going it alone as they have no alliance with the Congress though all of them are part of the INDIA bloc.

The AIMIM, as usual, is contesting from Hyderabad. Its indefatigable leader and party supremo Asaduddin Owaisi will be once again be its candidate from the AIMIM’s citadel.

The Congress has fielding women for three seats in this election – P Sunitha (Malkajgiri), Atram Suguna (Adilabad) and Kadiyam Kavya (Warangal-SC), while the BJP has fielded two – DK Aruna (Mahbubnagar) and Kompella Madhavi Latha (Hyderabad). The BRS has named one woman candidate- Malothu Kavitha (Mahabubabad)

In all the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies, the sitting MPs who are in the fray are only nine. Of the nine BRS sitting MPs, five have left the party.

Of them three joined the Congress – B Venkatesh Netha Borlakunta (Peddapalle-SC), Gaddam Ranjith Reddy (Chevella) and Pasunuri Dayakar (Warangal-SC). Of the three, only one is being fielded by the grand old party as its candidate – Ranjith Reddy from Chevella.

The remaining two sitting MPs of the BRS who joined the BJP are: BB Patil of Zaheerabad and P Ramulu of Nagarkurnool-SC.

The saffron party is fielding Patil as its candidate from the same constituency while it nominated Ramulu’s son Bharat for Nagarkurnool -SC.

The three MPs who vacated their seats in present Lok Sabha – A Revanth Reddy (Malkajgiri), Komatireddy Venkata Reddy (Bhongir) and Uttam Kumar Reddy (Nalgonda) are no longer in the fray.

While Revanth Reddy has become the chief minister, the other two are his cabinet colleagues.

Medak sitting BRS MP Kotha Prabhakar Reddy resigned his seat in Lower House after his election to Assembly from Dubbak in the elections in November last year.

Adilabad sitting MP Soyam Bapu Rao has been dumped by the saffron party for a woman candidate, Atram Suguna.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)