TRS, AIMIM forge tacit understanding in Telangana that goes to poll on December 7, 2018
The bonhomie between the incumbent Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), led by its leader K Chandrasekar Rao and the Assaddudin Owaisi led All India Maajlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) will make the forthcoming Assembly poll, scheduled to be held on December 7, 2018 a multi-cornered contest, with the outcome in limbo. TRS is facing anti-incumbancy factor, while AIMIM is restricted to Hyderabad’s Old City area, which do not have clout over the entire State. During the previous 2014 Assembly polls, there were seven contestants and all of them won in the 199 member Telangana Assembly.
Going by the dictum, “Enemy’s enemy is my friend”, Owaisi is endorsing KCR for a second term as Chief Minister, apparently, to keep the enemy, read BJP at bay. Even Rao, whose party was in the forefront demanding Telangana as a separate state, had then on the different camp, while Owaisi was not in favour of a bifurcation of a combined Andhra Pradesh. Other than the solitary issue, both TRS and AIMIM are never at loggerheads.
It may be recalled that on September 6, 2018 when the Telangana Assembly was dissolved before the end of the tenure, apparently, Rao was confident of winning the polls, as he recommended the EC to dissolve the Assembly and announce a date for fresh elections, had spoken nice of AIMIM, terming it as ‘Friendly Party.”
That respect and reciprocation between the TRS and AIMIM is quite pronounced, when Owaisi, whose party has fielded eight candidates during the latest poll, not only is supporting TRS openly but went a notch ahead and spoke at a poll campaign meeting at Nirmal town, supporting the TRS candidate in that constituency. So, it is a known fact and a given thing that AIMIM will back TRS in all the constituencies, triggering the multi-cornered poll complex.
Even Owaisi was quoted as saying by the news agency PTI in the not so distant past, “I feel that the TRS has a very good chance of coming back to (power). Owaisi was also heard substantiating as to why TRS will stage a come back, dismissing the anti-incumbency factor, telling the news agency that in the last four years, as there have been no communal riots in the Telangana state, the atmosphere is no longer there. Obviously, this reason alone would help KCR (as Rao is popularly known) to sail through the polls. KCR, in turn, too had praised AMIMIM at different occasions.
While speaking at a poll rally, the care taker CM alleged that both Andhra CM N Chandrababu Naidu as well as the Prime Minister of the BJP led NDA, Narenda Modi too had conspired to topple his government, that time only Owaisi who has promised to come to his support. When these two parties became close, others including Congress and the BJP are attacking this tacit understanding between the two regional parties (TRS and AIMIM).
At one of the election rallies, Congress President, Rahul Gandhi even said that both these parties are trying to prevent Congress coming back to power in the 2019 Assembly polls and he went to the extend of accusing the regional satraps wanted to see the Modi government coming back to power again. During the election campaign, the president of the BJP, Amit Shah was appealing to voters to back the BJP candidates in Telangana, stating that only the BJP can ‘Rid” of the AIMIM, as per PTI report.
When the going gets tough, then the tough gets going. On the other side of the fence, Congress and TDP have forged alliance, nurturing ambition of defeating TRS led government, while also keeping the BJP at bay. As the Telangana Assembly Polls will be held on December 7 and the counting of votes to take place on December 11, which alliance parties will come to power is not clear at the moment. During the combined Andhra elections, the TDP-BJP alliance had considerable clout in the Telangana region, while Congress was always strong in this region. Due to corruption and nepotism, Congress lost power giving way to TDP.
Once the state was divided into Andhra and Telangana, many of the people from the Andhra region who were living in Hyderabad had moved out, thus considerably eroding the vote base of TDP in Telangana. After the death YS Rajasekhar Reddy, the power of Congress also started showing signs of weakness. Internal bickering during Sudhir Reddy‘s time is well known. There are some senior leaders in the Congress, being a national party, can only take on BJP in Telangnaa, led by its state president, Laxman, but TDP being a rank outsider, with the support residual population from Andhra region, the TDP can’t make a major impact either.
So, Congress, TRS, AIMIM and TDP do not want BJP to come to power. With Congress and TDP on one side and TRS and AIMIM on the other, the BJP splitting votes, will any group or party get a majority is the question that has in every voter’s mind in Telangana. The outcome of the poll will only be known after the poll results have come. As all the key parties in Telangna do not want BJP to come to power, even after the election results have come, based on the number of seats each part got, then they are likely to sit and form a new coalition with a common minimum programme, just to keep the BJP at bay.