The 2023 Telangana Legislative Assembly election is scheduled to be held in or before December 2023 to elect all 119 members of the state’s Legislative Assembly.

A day after announcing the first list of 115 candidates for the ensuing Assembly elections, BRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao has cautioned the candidates saying that the announcement of names does not mean that there can be no change.

The BRS chief told the party’s official candidates that there were still some who have been put on three-month probation and if they failed to overcome the shortcomings and win over the voters in their constituencies, he may decide to drop them. He said he would be getting surveys done continuously and if their graph does not improve, he may opt for the next best candidate. Party leaders, however, said KCR knew very well that there would be some minor problems as some of the aspirants may feel upset for having missed a chance.

The party is also aware that it has to face some amount of anti-incumbency factor. Hence KCR has advised all the candidates to visit every house, talk to the voters and win their confidence.

Party leaders said the very reason for early announcement of candidates was to avoid the last-minute rebel problem. Now, the major task before the candidates is to achieve the targets, set by KCR, in terms of improving the winning chances.

Sources said that KCR would be getting surveys done once every fortnight and analyse the steps he or she had taken to win over the voters. Based on these reports, he would decide whether to give B forms to these candidates or not.

The party needs to do everything possible to ensure that the party returns to power winning over 105 seats. The party leaders said that in all probability polls would be held either towards the end of November or in the first week of December.

The tenure of the current Assembly ends on 16 January 2024. The incumbent Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), led by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, is the ruling party in Telangana. The BRS is expected to face a tough challenge from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is trying to make inroads into the state.

The Indian National Congress (INC) is also expected to be a major contender in the elections. The BRS is banking on its record of development in the state, including the construction of irrigation projects, roads, and hospitals. The party is also expected to focus on the welfare of farmers and women. The BJP is hoping to capitalize on the anti-incumbency sentiment against the BRS. The party is also expected to focus on Hindutva issues, such as the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. The INC is hoping to revive its fortunes in Telangana after being decimated in the 2018 elections. The party is expected to focus on the issues of unemployment and corruption.

The outcome of the 2023 Telangana Assembly elections will have a significant impact on the political landscape of the state. The results will also be closely watched by the national political parties, as they will provide an indication of the mood of the electorate ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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Here are some of the key issues that are likely to be debated in the 2023 Telangana Assembly elections:

  • Farmers’ welfare: The state government’s policies towards farmers, such as the Rythu Bandhu scheme, are likely to be a major issue.
  • Jobs and unemployment: The state government’s record on creating jobs and addressing unemployment is also likely to be a major issue.
  • Infrastructure development: The state government’s record on infrastructure development, such as roads, irrigation projects, and hospitals, is also likely to be a major issue.
  • Water scarcity: Water scarcity is a major issue in Telangana, and the state government’s policies to address this issue are likely to be a major issue.
  • Education and healthcare: The state government’s record on education and healthcare is also likely to be a major issue.

Months ahead of the Telangana Assembly elections – scheduled to be held by the end of 2023 – the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has released the first list of candidates for 115 seats out of the 119 constituencies. BRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao released the first list at a press meet at the party’s headquarters Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad.

KCR, who currently represents the Gajwel constituency, will also contest from Kamareddy this time. A total of 114 names were announced for 115 seats, and sitting MLAs were denied tickets in nine constituencies, including Kamareddy. BRS currently has 104 MLAs in the 119-member Telangana Assembly. 

The nine constituencies where the tickets did not go to sitting MLAs are Kamareddy, Vemulawada, Boath, Station Ghanpur, Khanapur Asifabad, Wyra, Korutla and Uppal. Kamareddy MLA Gampa Govardhan, who will be replaced by KCR in the contest this year, had recently claimed that he himself had urged CM KCR to contest from his constituency.

The candidates for four Assembly constituencies — Nampally (currently held by AIMIM), Narsapur, Goshamahal (curently represented by suspended BJP MLA Raja Singh) and Jangaon — will be announced later. KCR said that he expects BRS to win 95 to 105 seats this time. In 2018, BRS had initially won 88 seats.

Later, several MLAs from Congress, TDP and independent candidates joined BRS, increasing its strength in the Assembly.  CM KCR said that Vemulawada MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh could not be included as his Indian citizenship was under dispute, and the ticket has gone to Chalmeda Lakshmi Narasimha Rao. In Korutla, sitting MLA Kalvakuntla Vidya Sagar Rao has requested to give the ticket to his son Sanjay, KCR said, calling it a “household issue”.

In Uppal too, sitting MLA Bethi Subhas Reddy was denied the ticket, which went to Bandaru Lakshma Reddy. The other sitting MLAs who have not been given tickets are Boath MLA Rathod Bapu Rao, Khanapur MLA Ajmera Rekha, Station Ghanpur MLA T Rajaiah (who has been accused of sexual harasment by a woman sarpanch), Asifabad MLA Atram Sakku (who had contested from Congress in 2018 before switching to BRS), and Wyra MLA Lavudya Ramulu Naik, who had won as an independent before joining BRS. In their place, Anil Jadhav, Bhukya Johnson Rathod Naik, MLC and former Minister Kadiyam Srihari, Kova Lakshmi and Banoth Madanlal have received tickets respectively. 

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In constituencies currently held by other parties, BRS has fielded the following candidates — Putta Madhu (from Manthani), Padi Kaushik Reddy (Huzurabad), Chinta Prabhakar (Sangareddy), Kotha Prabhakar Reddy (Dubbaka), Teegala Ajith Reddy (Malakpet), Aindala Krishnaiah (Karwan), Ibrahim Lodi (Charminar), M Sitharam Reddy (Chandrayangutta), Sama Sunder Reddy (Yakutpura), Ali Baqri (Bahadurpura), Bade Nagajyothi (Mulugu), Lingala Kamal Raju (Madhira), and Tellam Venkat Rao (Bhadrachalam).  Tellam Venkat Rao had recently rejoined BRS on August 17, about a month-and-a-half after switching to Congress on July 2.

BRS MLC and government whip in the Legislative Council Padi Kaushik Reddy jumped ship to the BRS in 2021, months before the Huzurabad bye-election, after he landed in trouble with Congress over an viral audio clip which suggested that he had purportedly tried to mobilise BRS workers to canvas for him in the bye-elections, claiming to be BRS’s chosen candidate.

However, BRS fielded its student wing president Gellu Srinivas Yadav, who lost to former Minister Eatala Rajender.  Eatala’s resignation from the Assembly had necessitated the bye-election. He had quit BRS (then TRS) and joined the BJP a month after he was dropped from the state Cabinet by KCR following allegations of land encroachment.

Meanwhile, out of the 115 candidates announced by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) on Monday, August 21, ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in Telangana, only seven tickets were allotted to women candidates. While 114 names were announced for 115 seats, sitting MLAs were denied tickets in seven constituencies. BRS currently has 104 MLAs in the 119-member Telangana Assembly. 

The seven women candidates who will be contesting from the BRS ticket includes Kova Lakshmi from the Asifabad constituency, Sabitha Indra Reddy from the Maheshwaram constituency, G Lasya Nanditha from the Secunderabad Cantonment constituency, Gongidi Sunitha from Alair,  Banoth Haripriya Naik from Yelandu, Bade Nagajyothi from Mulugu and M Padma Devender Reddy from Medak. 

BRS MLC and CM KCR’s daughter Kalvakuntla Kavitha led a sit-in protest and six hour long hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, demanding that the Women’s Reservation Bill be tabled in the Parliament on March 10 this year. She stated that women representation is important in politics if India needs to develop at par with other countries. 

However, after the BRS released the candidate list on Monday, BJP spokesperson Rani Rudrama criticised Kavitha and said that she must apologise to the women in Telangana as her party did not give 33% reservation for women.

“The BRS party ignoring women in its list shows that Kavitha’s protests in Delhi demanding that the Centre enact 33 percent reservation for women in the Parliament was just a drama to divert attention from her alleged role in the Delhi liquor scam,” she said. Similar to the previous election, this year too,

BRS is fielding candidates in constituencies held by the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) with which it has friendly relations. Currently, AIMIM has seven seats in the Assembly, from Malakpet, Nampally, Karwan, Chandrayangutta, Charminar, Yakutpura, and Bahadurpura. The BRS normally does not put up a big fight in these seats. 

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Worried about being left out of the list, many sitting MLAs had made last-minute efforts to protest the influence of their opponents within the party, with some of them reportedly meeting Minister Harish Rao, who is CM KCR’s nephew, and MLC Kavitha Kalvakuntla, who is the chief minister’s daughter.

Meanwhile, KCR’s son Minister KT Rama Rao, who is also the party’s working president, is on a trip to the United States with his family.  Uppal MLA Bethi Subhas Reddy and former Hyderabad Mayor and another ticket aspirant Bonthu Rammohan reportedly visited Kavitha at her residence on Sunday to dissuade against giving the ticket to Bandari Lakshma Reddy, who switched loyalties from Congress to BRS.

Yellandu MLA Banoth Haripriya Naik, who was facing opposition from BRS leaders in her constituency, also reportedly met Kavitha and Harish Rao before the list was announced. She has been given the Yellandu ticket this time. 

Earlier on Saturday, Jangaon and Station Ghanpur constituencies saw protests by supporters of sitting MLAs Muthireddy Yadagiri Reddy and T Rajaiah, amid speculation that they might be denied tickets in favour of their opponents within the party. While the Jangaon candidate is yet to be named, Rajiah has been denied the ticket. In several other constituencies including Mahabubabad and Kothagudem, there were reports of discontent among party workers who did not want the sitting MLAs to contest again. 

On Monday morning, hours before the list was announced, Malkajgiri MLA Mynampally Hanmanth Rao criticised Minister Harish Rao, blaming him for lack of development in the Medak region, and saying he was interfering in the politics of Medak district. He demanded a ticket for his son, Mynampally Rohit, from Medak constituency, stating that the father-son duo would only contest the elections together. “I told them to either give tickets to both of us, or neither of us will contest… It’s not about being from the same family, multiple family members are there [from KCR’s family] too, but it’s about capabilities.” However, Rohit’s name does not feature on the list released on Monday. 

Ahead of the 2018 elections too, BRS (then TRS) announced its first list way ahead of other major parties, naming 105 candidates three months before the election in December. That year, CM KCR went in for early polls after dissolving the Assembly eight months before his government’s term would’ve ended in May 2019, and went in for early polls. The Election Commission of India (ECI) is yet to announce the dates for the upcoming election, expected to be held before December 2023.

The 2023 Telangana Assembly elections are expected to be a close contest. The outcome of the elections will depend on a number of factors, including the performance of the incumbent government, the issues that are debated, and the mood of the electorate.■ #hydnews #khabarlive

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