Just two more days to pass for the assembly elections and parties are keeping their fingers on who will win the prestigious Telangana assembly elections. pg79
It is December 2018. Some eight months before there was an aura of invincibility cultivated by the ruling party by splitting the opposition parties that made the party without strong opposition. On the other hand, the populist measures implemented by the ruling party covered a large section of the society that did a consolidation act. In between what changed the fortunes of opposition? Of course, old scenarios changed and new scenarios emerged much to the chagrin of the ruling party.
Congress has recovered it lost ground
The first and foremost reason for worry for the ruling party is the recovery of Congress from the state of anti-incumbency which it suffered in 2014 assembly and parliament elections. There was a wave against the Congress in 2014, which was left rudderless, leaderless after the bifurcation. From that state of nothing, a new leader emerged from the powerful Reddy community Uttam Kumar Reddy who galvanized the party by side-lining multiple power centres with the blessings of party high command Rahul Gandhi.pg79th
In 2014 assembly elections when the Telangana State formed, and TRS won the mandate with 33% of votes in the Vidhan Soudha, Congress’ tally was 24%, and TDP’s vote share was 14%. A simple calculation of 24+14= 38% more than that of TRS. If it is added with the support of other parties like CPI or TRS splinter group of Kodandaram, there are chances the share reaches 40%. But wait. Still, we cannot be assured unless and until the case of anti-incumbency factor is thoroughly checked or what constitutes the swing factor. It is into this area we need to see.
Anti-Incumbency Factor Check
Before going into anti-incumbency factor let us look into the core constituency of TRS. The ruling party has Velama community firmly in its fold. Part of Reddy community and a large section of BCs, Muslims, Christians form their support base.
Any brand will fail if the brand promise is not kept. One of the flagship programs is two-bedroom houses for ordinary people. In fact, the government wanted to construct 3.5 lakh houses in the first phase with the aid of Rs 10,000 crore from the centre. But according to a report in ToI, the project is showing no signs of progress by the end of 2015.
Any other populist program like subsidised rice, subsidised power to farmers, reimbursement of fees to students, subsidised lunch was successfully implemented by other parties like AIADMK, Congress, or AAP in the respective states where they had power. Only a housing scheme can act as a brand differentiator, and in that very area, KCR failed. Here, we need to remember one thing; blowie it is the aspiration of the middle class the party needs to take care of. Offering food security is a tried idea which has its appeal among the blue-collar workers that to part of them, and others opt for food brought from homes or going to mess for healthy eating. If looked at who comes to have the subsidised lunch, it is noticeable that the lowest strata of the society in the queue and those who have slightly better income opt out of that. The interpretation is clear; a five-rupee lunch will continue even if another party is ruling.
Now let us check the status of fee reimbursement. According to a report on January 4, 2017, several academicians and political party leaders slammed the government over its hesitation in clearing the fee reimbursement dues. This made (TJAC) chairman M Kodandaram warn government. Now that Prof. Kodanadaram in Mahkutami carrying the message and he being the front-runner of TJAC, the student opinion, parent’s opinion can swing in favour of Congress who was giving a secure deal. Hence, the anti-incumbency factor against the government by the students who act as first-time voters opting to change the government. quoras
Rising Insecurity Among Business and Workers
Demonetisation and GST have reduced the income of small-scale traders. Even though many are critical to a Congress regime, people have a feeling that the old state was better where there was less intrusion on their financial independence. A vast majority of Muslim traders feel insecure with a cashless society, and they are alright with cash transaction where the banks have little power to eat on their wealth during every transaction. The same mentality is applicable for small-scale traders who feel the old system was better for businesses. There is every likelihood that these segments will vote for the alliance if the candidate has better credentials. In the case of Mahakutami where TDP is a significant player, the trading community has a trusted partner, hence will vote for it, depending on the credibility of the candidate projected by the party.