Social engineering, Brand KCR as messiah of the poor helped him decimate Prajakutami 

A study of the voting pattern shows that 30-35% of TDP votes and 25% of the Congress may have gone to the TRS

PTI photo
PTI photo

KV Lakshmana

The youngest state of the country gave its verdict, blessing its first Chief Minister with another term, largely based on the plethora of sops he offered to almost every section of the society. Although many exit polls put Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) a clear favourite, even they were not ready for the extent of the sweep he managed.

The pink tsunami that hit Telangana swept away the Congress-led Prajakutami that also had Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and CPI in its fold. It has stunned the opposition, which has blamed EVM tampering and more importantly, deletion of nearly 8% of voters from the electoral rolls.

But then, once the heat and dust settle down, even the opposition would need to move on.

The Congress has announced that it will take the issue of deletion of over 22 lakh voters from the electoral rolls to the judiciary. It is, for sure, an alarming omission by the Election Commission that has cited reasons such as shifting of voters and deaths. This has the civil society much concerned.

“If this is extrapolated across the country, the magnitude of the problem gets accentuated and has the potential to alter the course of elections. This is a surgical strike on democracy,” said a human rights activist.

TPCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy said that deletion of over 22 lakh votes was nothing but a large conspiracy to deny many people their right to exercise their franchise.

However, the victory margin and the vote percentage of TRS and Chief Minister KCR, at a time when the voting percentage shot up close to 75% in Telangana, indicated that he had read the pulse of the people right and his gamble of advancing elections paid rich dividends. Moreover, KCR may have replicated Brand Amma of Tamil Nadu (J Jayalalithaa) by building his own brand as the messiah of the poor with a slew of welfare schemes aimed at most sections of the society.

KCR also successfully exploited the presence of N Chandrababu Naidu, a man perceived to be anti-Telangana, in the opposition coalition to a telling effect. “Do you want to be ruled by Amaravati”

Human Rights activist Jeevan Kumar told National Herald that “KCR had rolled out sops to every section of the society and ensured that welfare schemes reached the target audience. This had paid him rich dividends.”

Then, KCR also successfully exploited the presence of N Chandrababu Naidu, a man perceived to be anti-Telangana, in the opposition coalition to a telling effect. “Do you want to be ruled by Amaravati,” KCR questioned Telangana voters to allude to the danger that Naidu will be ruling Telangana by having his “puppet here”.

Actually, what KCR has done is excellent social engineering, governance and ensuring delivery on the ground. “In every village, one could find a beneficiary in most of the houses. And these in turn turned out in large numbers to vote for KCR again,” said Professor Harathi Vageesan of NALSAR, Hyderabad.

Usually, if the voter turnout is huge, then it spells trouble for the incumbent. But in the case of Telangana and KCR, it worked in reverse as he captured 47% of the total votes polled and won 88 out of the 119 seats. The Congress led Prajakutami could win barely 19 seats, in a stinging indictment by the voters who rejected the eleventh-hour alliance that brought the Congress and its arch rival TDP together.

Moreover, the alliance ironically inspired voters to go out and vote for KCR in larger numbers. “Sure, there was a sizeable section of people disgruntled with the TRS government and it was voting against the TRS. But this resulted in more aggressive voting in favour of TRS by the rest,” the social scientist from NALSAR said.

By associating with the TDP, the Congress lost out, opined yet another analyst.

But, Vageesan is sure that by waking up very late, by forming the alliance just few weeks before the elections, the coalition did not give itself sufficient time or run-in period to remove the irritants in the equation and work out the chemistry. Other than the wrong choice of alliance partners, confusion over seat sharing till the late stages too cost the participants of the coalition dear as the election results show, he said. Poor distribution of tickets and faulty candidate selection played their part as well.

After studying the results and voting patterns, Vageesan said that the magnitude of the TRS victory would not have been possible unless 30-35% of TDP votes and 25% of the Congress went to the TRS.

The silent support of industry and trade bodies as also business establishments and the powerful Reddy community too helped KCR.

Vageesan said that the Reddy community, that held most of the businesses in the city of Hyderabad, was not unhappy with KCR and may have lent him support.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines