WARANGAL: A vigorous campaign for Warangal byelection is on and one thing that the opposition parties are aiming at, if not winning, is at least to bring down the margin of votes.
The opposition Congress and TDP-BJP combine, it is learnt, are concentrating on bringing down the margin of votes in the byelection to prove a point that the popularity of the TRS government is on the decline.
TRS has won the Warangal Lok Sabha seat with a margin of more than 3.90 lakh over BJP candidate in the 2014 elections. ‘’Now, we want to bring down the margin to as lowest as possible,’’ a senior Congress leader said.
The Congress had, in fact, conducted a couple of surveys in which it was found that the margin might be well within two lakh votes in favour of the TRS. This instilled confidence among the Congress but the turnaround of events in the wake of Sircilla Rajaiah’s suspension from the party had dented its hopes.
The TDP-BJP too is fighting the election on a similar lines, sources in the party said.
Meanwhile, contrary to the belief within the TRS that it is a people’s party, the general public especially farmers were voicing their discontent against the government and the ruling TRS.
The TRS ministers campaigning for the byelection are facing rough weather as the common man is holding them accountable for their undelivered poll promises.
People are not hesitating to question and gherao the ministers and MLAs for ‘failure’ in delivering promises.
Farmers have broken their silence during the campaign and held the TRS responsible for mishandling irrigation water and inability to provide the minimum support price (MSP) for agricultural produce.
While it was deputy chief minister Kadiyam Srihari who has to face humiliation when a farmer D Komaraiah threw a chappal at him at Sayampet on Friday last, minister T Harish Rao was questioned by a farmer at Raghunathpally the very next day. Parkal MLA Challa Dharma Reddy too faced the music of the irate public earlier.
On Monday, it was the turn of Wardhannapet MLA Aroor Ramesh who visited Divitipally and Dammannapet villages on Monday.
As locals questioned him over the government failures in seeing that farm produce get remunerative prices, the MLA had to leave the venue without giving any reply.
This opposition that the TRS is facing from the people brought some hope among the opposition TDP-BJP of giving a tough contest. The sudden change of Congress nominee too has also come as a blessing for the TDP-BJP candidate.
The BJP-TDP leaders are saying that the anti-incumbency factor would help them to give a tough fight to the ruling party.
“As the TRS government has not taken any concrete measures to resolve the agrarian crisis, farmers are in distress and unemployed youth are also up in the arms against the government for not taking steps for the massive recruitment drive to fill government posts which were promised earlier. Keeping all these factors in view, we are anticipating that the chances of winning the seat by TDP-BJP combine candidate P Devaiah had improved a lot,” BJP Telangana Development Committee State convener Narahari Venugopal Reddy said.
However, political analysts say that the TRS may not lose the seat but its majority would be slashed drastically.
“I opine that the TRS would win the seat but its majority would be cut down by at least to 3 lakhs. Like Bihar elections, where the arrogant and authoritarian Modi and Amit Shah duo suffered a humiliated defeat, KCR might a learn a lesson after this byelection,” said a professor of Kakatiya University.
A former professor of Kakatiya University, Kurapati Venkata Narayana, who is actively involved in the campaign for TDP-BJP candidate said, “Not only the farmers, but also the educated urban voters would cast their vote against the TRS for its failure in fulfilling the aspirations of people during the 18-month-rule.”