Winter is slowly setting in. There is chillness in the air, but the politicians are sweating it out. Just a month ago people thought it would be a cakewalk for the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to win the upcoming Assembly elections.

The TRS has so far been saying that the war would be one side. Their argument was that the Congress had no leader worth his name who could galvanise the party. Being very confident that there was no one who could challenge them made the pink party to go ahead with its strategy of announcing the names of over 100 candidates in one go.

But with the fast-changing political equations and moves by the Opposition parties, it appears that its not so easy for the ‘car’ to zoom ahead without crossing the speed-breakers. This election is certainly going to be people versus TRS. The firm belief of the TRS that the “never before” kind of populist welfare schemes introduced by the government would help them win hands down seems to have been shaken a bit. The undercurrent of dissatisfaction is now coming to the fore.

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The real voters, whether they be the daily labourers, autorickshaw drivers, painters, masons or work contractors, are openly expressing their dissatisfaction against the government. This has made the TRS leaders, particularly the party president K Chandrashekar Rao and star campaigners K T Rama Rao, T Harish Rao and Kavitha to launch vitriolic attack against the Mahakutami in general and the TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu in particular.

The language is becoming filthier by the day which makes one feel that the TRS is now concerned about the likely negative impact of Mahakutami. “Guntanakkalu (jackals), Pandikukkalu (bandicoots), Nakkalu (foxes) etc are some of the words that are presently being used against each other by the ruling party and the Opposition leaders.

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Once the Congress-led Mahakutami launches the campaign, the abuses and accusations are going to become shriller. The Opposition parties of course are still struggling to give a concrete shape to their alliance. They continue to bargain for seats and in the process, issue veiled threats of walking out of the alliance. But still the mood now appears that there is a section of people who are looking for a possible alternative to vote for.

The TRS candidates who are out to campaign in Karimnagar, Nalgonda and some other places have already faced the ire of the people. Though the TRS is once again trying to rake up the T sentiment, the ground situation appears to be different. This may not cut as much ice as it did in 2014. It is clear that anti-incumbency factor is going to play some role in eroding the vote bank of the pink party. In 2014, the Congress got a vote share of 25 percent, but it could win only 21 seats.

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The TDP polled 14.7 percent and won 15 seats. The CPI and TJS which backed the TRS last time are now with the grand alliance and it remains to be seen to what extent they will be able to cut into TRS votes. More than mathematics, what would matter is people’s mood. Their aspirations have been raised very high and since now it is time for giving marks, the politicians are nervous and are working out strategies to emerge victorious.#KhabarLive