The year ahead, 2018, will be crucial for both the ruling party and the opposition as it would set the stage for the electoral battle, even if ‘the elections are held early or as per scheduled time of March/April 2019’.

The electoral future of the political parties will depend on the steps the respective parties take and the strategy they adopt over the next eight months. Particularly, electoral alliances between various parties might shape the things in the run-up to the next Assembly polls.

As far as TRS is concerned, the party appears to be invincible as of now. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, a shrewd politico, has been introducing novel welfare measures to woo every section of voters — right from government employees to the people belonging to the most backward classes — to consolidate his party’s position in the state.

Further, KCR has successfully lowered the morale of the opposition parties by engineering defections in the past three years. The way TDP, which used to challenge the TRS supremacy at one point of time, has been relegated to a nominal position on the state’s political scenario shows Rao’s tenacity.

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The principal opposition party Congress seems not to have gained enough confidence to take on the TRS in next Assembly polls. Instead of the principal opposition Congress, it is the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) chairman M Kodandaram who is openly challenging Rao’s supremacy. He has even stepped up the preparations to float a political party with a sole aim to create an alternative forum against TRS.

Against this backdrop, the Congress, which is not fully confident of winning the next electoral battle on its own, has begun making efforts to unite all the political and non-political forces which oppose Rao’s policies. AICC SC Cell chairman Koppula Raju has taken the responsibility of forming a rainbow coalition to take on the ruling party.

Even the warhorse S Jaipal Reddy, who used to keep himself away from State’s politics in the then united State, is now showing much interest to join forces against the State government with a sole aim to make the Congress come to power in the State. Kodangal MLA A Revanth Reddy and other leaders from the TDP recently joined the Congress only as per the ground work done by Jaipal Reddy.

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According to sources, Congress leaders have already started putting in efforts to convince Kodandaram to align with the grand-old party. By doing so, the Congress wants to join hands with like-minded parties such as CPI and CPM, which have reservations to back the grand-old party at this juncture.

Some of the Congress leaders have come up with an idea of floating an “united political front by keeping Kodandaram as its chairman” in order to take on the Chief Minister. That means, Kodandaram who spearheaded the final stage of statehood movement being the chairman of TJAC, is now being suggested to play a similar role to unite all the “anti-TRS” forces.

Even the BJP has begun formulating strategies to shatter the dreams of Congress. Though the saffron party state leadership has been repeatedly claiming that it would come to power in the State in the next Assembly polls, no concrete ground work is being done to achieve the ‘dream’. Further, all the State leaders are pinning their hopes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party national president Amit Shah to do the ‘magic’ in the State.

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One word that has been doing the rounds in the political circles of Telangana for the past few months is will the ruling parties at the Centre and State go for early elections? Though the TRS is dismissing such a move, sources said that the Pink party has kept its option open.

The idea behind going for early elections being carrying not much burden of anti-incumbency and also taking the opposition parties by surprise. Suspecting this, the opposition parties are now getting ready to face such eventuality.

Almost all the opposition parties in the state have hit the streets over the last few months of 2017 and 2018 will undoubtedly see more political action in the year ahead. #KhabarLive