Telangana Rashtra Samithi supremo K Chandrashekar Rao must be thanking the Congress and his stars profusely, after sitting Member of Parliament Vijayashanti was suddenly moved out of the Medak parliamentary constituency and asked to contest the assembly seat instead. This makes KCR the main contender for this parliamentary seat. Vicky Nanjappa explains what it could mean for the TRS chief.
It would have been a different story, had Vijayashanti contested the Medak parliamentary constituency. But with her out of his way, the victory for KCR appears to be a cakewalk -- and this is precisely why he is starting his campaign from Karimnagar and not his constituency in Medak.
The reasoning behind KCR opting for this seat when he had contested the previous two elections from other constituencies is because he is from this area of Telangana. He was aware that Medak is a strong TRS base, and any other candidate from here would win. He decided to contest from the other constituencies of Telangana as he wanted to popularise the party.
But this time around, he is aware that there is also a Congress wave in Telangana and hence he decided to hold on to the safest seat of the TRS.
This time, KCR is contesting the elections both from the parliamentary and assembly segments. His assembly constituency is Gajwel, which is also part of the Medak parliamentary constituency. This has earned him the edge in his constituency as the people feel that even if he gives up his Lok Sabha seat, he would still be part of this constituency, and this would benefit them.
Medak has always been a Congress bastion. Out of the 14 elections that have been held here, the Congress has won 9, while the TDP and the Telangana Praja Samithi have won this seat once each. The TRS won this seat twice in 2004 and 2009.
This was the reason why Vijayashanti, who won the 2009 poll on a TRS ticket from Medak decided to quit the party and joined the Congress on the assurance that she would be given the same seat. But the Congress sprung a surprise when it decided at the last hour that she would contest the Medak assembly seat instead.
Situated 104 kilometres away from Hyderabad, Medak with a population of around 2.6 lakh is not a constituency that one could boast about -- for there has been very poor development here. In 2006, it was named as one of the 250 most backward areas. Lack of roads and poor water facility are the primary problems in Medak. Voters from Medak say that they have been constantly ignored over the years.
“We started voting for the TRS, as they instilled hope in us that development can take place only if the state is bifurcated. But even though we have not seen much development despite voting for them, we would like to give them once last chance, since after this election the state would be bifurcated and we hope that the development would take place,” said a voter.
The people however tell KCR that this would be his last chance, and this time there is no excuse that they would have to wait for the bifurcation to happen. A lot of people from this constituency have been part of the struggle, despite not having basic amenities and this time around they want results
Looking at the poll battle, KCR’s job has been made extremely easy by the Congress. They have fielded Sravan Kumar Reddy, a new face. The Congress claims that it tried to convince other leaders, but no one wanted to contest from there, since Medak is a strong TRS bastion, and also the fact that KCR is also contesting from there.
When asked why Vijayashanthi was not considered for the post, the Congress says that she was the one who insisted on an assembly seat. The Bharatiya Janata Party on the other hand has fielded Chagendla Narendra Nath. This would be a testing ground for him, but his winning the seat against KCR appears to be extremely bleak.