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Telangana’s political temperature soars as the parties heat up for the 2023 state elections

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Although there are still two-and-a half years before Assembly elections in Telangana, the bustling activities of the main parties have already raised the political dust and heat within the state.

Telangana is already in heatwave conditions and witnessing a rise of political temperatures. Both the major contenders for power as well the smaller parties are competing to capture the public’s attention.

Padyatras or foot marching, foundation day celebrations, rallies by top leaders, have already created a poll like atmosphere in Telangana. Assembly elections are scheduled for 2023.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which is aiming to win a hat-trick in electoral victories, is preparing for the fight with the foundation day celebrations next Monday. The Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP) is currently undergoing a padyatra organized by Bandi Sanjay (its state unit chief).

The Congress party is looking to regain its lost ground in its former stronghold. Rahul Gandhi, its leader, will address a Warangal rally on May 6.

Bandi Sanjay embarked on the second leg his Praja Sangrama Yatra on April 14, with a bitter attack against the TRS government. Bandi Sanjay will walk 385 kms through five districts during the month-long foot march. He will travel through 105 villages across 10 Assembly constituencies.

Sanjay, a Member from Karimnagar of the Parliament, will walk between 10 and 15 km each day to get to know people’s problems. Many BJP-ruled states’ chief ministers and union ministers will participate in the yatra.

The second leg, which will be completed in May 14, will take place at Maheshwaram district in Rangareddy. Amit Shah, Union Home Minister, has been invited to the final programme.

The first phase began in Hyderabad in August 2021. It covered 36 days and included 19 Assembly constituencies as well as half a dozen parliamentary constituencies. The yatra was held in eight districts.

Tarun Chugh, BJP’s central leader and in charge of party affairs in Telangana is adamant that the yatra is designed to liberate Telangana form family rule and achieve “Golden Telangana”, which will have double engine growth.

Bandi Sanjay, however, is not the only politician on a padyatra. YSR Telangana Party leader Y. S. Sharmila is currently on a Praja Prasthanam’ padyatra to understand the people’s issues.

Sharmila, the sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had launched the padyatra starting from Chevella on Oct 20th but was forced to stop it because of the election code that was in effect for the Legislative Council elections as well as the third wave Covid-19. She resumed her walkathon in March 11.

Sharmila’s padyatra is to expose the �failure’ of the TRS to fulfil its promises and deliver �Bangaru (golden) Telangana’. She promises to restore the welfare rule of her father, former chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy. She walks 12-15km every day to meet farmers, women, and other people.

Sharmila, who founded the party last July 8, plans to walk 4,000km, covering 16 of the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka is also undertaking a padyatra, �People’s March’ in Madhira Assembly constituency represented by him.

Bahujan Samaj Party state coordinator and former IPS officer R. S. Praveen Kumar is also on a �Bahujan Rajyadhikara Yatra’. He started a 300-day-long yatra in March 6.

The state will feel the political heat from the 21st formation celebrations of TRS, which will be held on April 27. To mark the occasion, the party will hold a plenary that lasts a full day in Hyderabad.

The party’s foundation day celebrations will be kicked off by Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao, TRS president. He will give a welcoming address and then introduce 11 resolutions. These resolutions will be discussed and adopted by the meeting.

About 3,000 people are expected to attend the plenary. This will likely set the agenda for how the party wants to remain in power.

The TRS will celebrate the foundation after a gap in two years. The pandemic meant that celebrations have been low-key for the past two years.

KCR floated the TRS in order to revive the movement to create a separate state. He is likely to highlight the remarkable progress made by the state under TRS rule over the past seven years and launch a passionate attack on the BJP to challenge its determination to present itself as a viable alternative.

The TRS chief is likely to come down heavily on the Narendra Modi government at the Centre for �discrimination’ against Telangana. The Centre’s refusal of paddy procurement from Telangana by the Centre has already given the TRS ammunition to intensify its attacks on the BJP.

KCR, who also aims for a greater national role at Centre, will likely reveal plans to bring together non BJP parties at the National Level to provide an alternative option to the BJP.

The two-day Rahul Gandhi visit will intensify political activities in the first week. On May 6, he will speak at Warangal and on the following day, he will meet with leaders of the party in Hyderabad.

This will be Rahul’s first trip to Telangana since the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This follows his intervention in Telangana to bring order to the Congress house following differences among the leaders.

Activities are expected to pick up momentum in the second week of May, with Amit Shah, Union Home Minister, addressing a public meeting to mark the completion of the second leg.

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