The dynamically started the mission ‘Social Engineering’ to win 2023 elections in Telangana and form the government.  This fool-proof strategy already started in remote area voters in Telangana, which are giving good results at booth level. BJP formed different teams to tackle this strategy in village, mandal, district and state levels.

Now, it is going to be a battle royale during the Assembly elections next year and the  Bharatiya Janata Party is going all-out to wrest power from the ruling Telangana  Rashtra Samiti in Telangana. The BJP’s National Executive Committee meeting in Hyderabad on July 2 and 3 is a declaration of the party’s challenge to the TRS. The BJP is now hitting the ground with a roadmap and a strategy.

The electoral contest in Telangana is interesting from several viewpoints and some comparisons can be made with West Bengal, where the Assembly polls last year attracted nationwide interest. Astute, sharp and determined politicians are on either side of the political equation in Telangana. Yet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his oratory and connect with people has an edge.

TRS chief and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has been acerbic on his opponents and effective in his attack. He draws his strength from the tenacious role he had played in the formation of separate state of Telangana. The state will go for its third Assembly polls in 2023 and TRS is on the wrong side of anti-incumbency.    

The BJP has been working on caste equations in Telangana and has apparently pitched for OBC leadership in the state, where 50 per cent of population belongs to the community. The brass of TRS and the Congress belong to dominant upper castes that constitute a small proportion in population.

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The OBC leadership that BJP has been promoting is a standout factor for the party. The BJP picked former state party unit chief and OBC national morcha president K Laxman as a candidate from Uttar Pradesh to the Rajya Sabha. Laxman belongs to the Munnuru Kapu community.

Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar and Nizamabad MP Dharmapuri Arvind also belong to the same community. The BJP has been making the right political moves and its candidate Eatala Rajender, a former aide of KCR, defeated TRS candidate in the hotly contested Huzurabad bypoll in November last year.

In the 2018 Assembly elections, the BJP candidate had secured only 1,683 votes from the seat, fewer than NOTA tally. Etela Rajendar is a strong leader belonging to the Mudiraj community. Among the OBCs, the Yadava, Mudiraj, Munnuru Kapu and weaver communities are seen to be decisive in Telangana’s politics.

Mudirajs and Yadavas are seen to be gravitating towards the BJP. The party’s Hindutva pitch, its constant visibility, and development thrust have attracted OBC youth to the party.

Among OBCs, there is some disillusionment with the TRS. The Telugu Desam Party has grown very weak in Telangana. The Congress is not viewed as an attractive option for the OBCs. BJP did similar social engineering in Uttar Pradesh, where OBCs now form a key base of the party.

KCR is from the Velama caste in Telangana and the Assembly bypoll results have shown that his carefully built caste coalition, which included the OBCs, may have begun to unravel.  Reddys, an influential class that is not preponderant in numbers, is seen to be gravitating towards the Congress, especially after Revanth Reddy became the party’s state president.

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KCR has been trying to reach out to Dalits, but his rivals have been talking of TRS’ “unfulfilled” promises to the community.  BJP and TRS were not bitter rivals initially and both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and K Chandrasekhar Rao heaped praise on each other.

TRS was seen as a party friendly to BJP, helping it through contentious bills in Parliament either by supporting or abstaining. But the equations have undergone a dramatic change with the Chief Minister not receiving the Prime Minister during his visits to the state and the BJP leadership talking of “ending dynastic misrule in Telangana”. KCR has accused the Centre of discriminating against the state and the BJP leadership has been targeting him over alleged corruption.

The BJP winning Dubbak and Huzurabad Assembly bypolls was a shock for the TRS, which had not recovered from the BJP winning four of 17 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with about 20 per cent vote share. The BJP had won only one seat in the 2018 assembly polls. The BJP’s strong performance in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections in December 2020, in which it emerged as the second-largest party — going up from four to 48 — again forced the TRS to sit up and take notice.  

TRS numbers in GHMC came down from 99 to 55. Hyderabad is one of the most dynamic cities of India with a history that few places can boast of. But it is vulnerable to woes such as floods due to civic mismanagement. The BJP has accused TRS of ignoring the city’s civic needs and the AIMIM of encouraging encroachments. The floods in 2020 had affected lakhs of families in the city and experts warn of more such calamities if concretisation of the catchment areas of the lakes continues.

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The BJP has assured people that “double engine government” would help them realise their dreams for the city. The party is going all-out in Telangana and is reaching out to various communities.

PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have been attending events associated with the state. PM Modi met GHMC’s 46 corporators belonging to BJP in New Delhi on June 7 and Amit Shah attended the Telangana Formation Day celebrations in New Delhi on June 2. The last time the BJP held its NEC in Hyderabad was in 2004.

The current NEC is an important signal about the party’s readiness for polls. True to its style of micro-level planning and its reputation as an “election machine”, the BJP had cut out tasks for its national executive members ahead of the Hyderabad meeting.

Each BJP national executive committee member spent two days ahead of the meeting in an allocated Assembly constituency in Telangana. The members would be able assess the party’s prospects in those constituencies. They would also meet locally influential people.  Apart from OBCs, the BJP has been reaching out to various groups, communities and sections, including Dalits, youth and women. Given its social engineering, the party is hopeful of coming to power in Telangana. #KhabarLive #hydnews #hyderabadnews

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A senior journalist having 25 years of experience in national and international publications and media houses across the globe in various positions. A multi-lingual personality with desk multi-tasking skills. He belongs to Hyderabad in India. Ahssanuddin's work is driven by his desire to create clarity, connection, and a shared sense of purpose through the power of the written word. His background as an writer informs his approach to writing. Years of analyzing text and building news means that adapting to a reporting voice, tone, and unique needs comes as second nature.