The Congress will not be able to do a repeat of the November 2023 assembly election victory. KCR’s Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) hasn’t recouped its loss and isn’t in shape despite party head K Chandrashekar Rao’s frequent pep talk to party leaders and party workers. Politics has veered to the communal in the interregnum and “Samajik Nyay” is the key. Like “in the United States, when the Whites set the questions, the Blacks failed the SAT. So, we should take the cue and Dalits should set the questions for the upper castes’ candidates….” This is ‘Samajik Nyay’ and the video went viral. Millions are convinced even as there is talk of a strong wind blowing against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reservations on reservation for “SC/ST and OBC”.


But the Congress in Telangana is “fighting to revive its fortunes”, making one wonder whatever happened to Congress fortunes after the 2023 assembly elections victory? Chief Minister Revanth Reddy cannot be such a damp squib? His Aap Ki Adalat showing gave the impression he isn’t a political novice but it seems he has hidden shortcomings. Only a novice could fall into a deepfake trap. So with Chief Minister Revanth Reddy all talk and no substance, the mood in the BJP camp is upbeat. Telangana sends 17 MPs to the Lok Sabha and the BJP is angling for at least 7. Polls will be held on 13 May

Bad news for the Congress is Revanth Reddy is on the back foot even after rolling out six guarantees, all of them lifted from Congress’ assembly elections manifesto. Revanth Reddy is also not happy that he was “summoned” by the Delhi Police in the Amit Shah deepfake video case. Reddy’s star fell and now he’s saddled with aides — Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and ministers N Uttam Kumar Reddy, D Sridhar Babu, Ponnam Prabahakar, and Komatireddy Venkat Reddy. Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and self-proclaimed party “sanchalak” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will help.


That said, the Congress is heavily banking on “Muslim reservation” to win Telangana. The BJP is banking on Hindu votes consolidation for “abki baar 400 paar”. Secular parties are fighting the new perception that Muslim votes consolidation is as communal as Hindu votes consolidation. India’s demographic dividend, who are there in huge numbers, enthusiastically agree with the new definition of communal polarization.

The Congress promise of bringing “Muslim reservation” if it comes to power at the Centre is a gamble. The June 4 outcome might even surprise the Muslims. The Muslims will realize that they might not be in required “totals” to influence outcomes in scores of so-called Muslim constituencies. Even somebody like Asaduddin Owaisi is fighting a tough battle in his pocket-borough Hyderabad this time.

That said, it will take a lot of convincing to change the minds of K Chandrashekhar Rao and Rahul Gandhi, both of whom are diehard “secular”. KCR undertook a bus tour of all the 17 parliamentary constituencies of Telangana. In between he got into trouble with the Election Commission for “using offensive language”. The uplifting part is KCR is drawing huge crowds and Telangana’s Muslims are reportedly turning to the BRS in big numbers. The reality is the Congress is ahead of the BRS in attracting Muslim votes.


The BJP is banking on Modi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have been frequent visitors to Telangana, delivering speeches laced with “Hindu-Musalman”. Question is, will June 4 spell the death of such rhetoric? Will politicians of all hues put a halt to their “polarising rhetoric”? Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi stop talking of Hindu-Muslim if he gets a third term or Rahul Gandhi gets his first ever term?

The battle for Telangana isn’t all that big. Lots of politicians who switched parties have been given tickets by their new parties. Former Congressmen are fighting the Congress and it is the same with the BRS and the BJP. The BJP has the most number of turncoat candidates. The BJP is a collector of corrupt politicians. And “Modi Aur 400 Chor” is a ballad.

The BJP’s collection of “winnable candidates” from rival parties is fuelling its “400 paar” war-cry. The BJP has been inducting “rivals” into its fold for an “electoral payoff”. Therefore, the confidence that it will send several MPs from Telangana to the Lok Sabha. The Congress has also given tickets to BRS turncoats. Four constituencies have BRS defectors fighting on Congress tickets.


Chief Minister Revanth Reddy is on record that his goal is to ensure Rahul Gandhi becomes India’s next Prime Minister. Towards that end the Congress has promised six poll guarantees. There are money constraints but there is hope the “goodwill of the assembly polls” will shift to the parliamentary polls. And whatever lacunae remains will be taken care of by Rahul Gandhi himself. Rahul’s writ runs in the Congress and Rahul’s poll mantra is “Muslim Reservation” and “Caste Census”. Don’t forget the ‘Samajik Nyay’ of Dalit/Muslims setting the question papers for the upper caste Hindus.

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