Monday, June 02, 2008

Shocking By-Election Results

The by-elections to 18 Andhra Pradesh State Assembly seats (MLA Seats) and 4 Loksabha seats (MP Seats)have given a shocking thumbs down to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). The by-elections are conducted after 16 TRS MLA's and 4 MP's resigned to put pressure on the Government for a separate Telangana State to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh. At two other places elections were held as the sitting MLA's died. One of them is Khairatabad in Hyderabad where I voted.

TRS could retain only 7 Assembly Seats and 2 Loksabha Seats while the Congress Party won 6 Assembly Seats and 1 Loksabha Seat while the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) which supports a united Andhra Pradesh won in as many as 5 Assembly Seats and 1 Loksabha Seat.

TRS was pushed to a corner on Telangana issue as Congress Party was not implementing what it promised in the earlier elections. Congress came to power taking help of TRS in the Telangana region thus indirectly supporting separate Telangana. As the Congress party strengthened, it started to distance itself from TRS forcing the TRS to pull out of the Government and eventually resigning to put pressure. TRS was almost synonymous with the Telangana issue. With this shocking defeat, opponents of Telangana State started asking whether the demand is valid as people are not supporting it.

Because of TRS, the separate Telangana State issue came out of the dust and forced all the political parties to take stand on the issue - either for or against the separate state. This is something good which came out of TRS. The main problem with TRS is their loose tongued leaders. From the party president down to all the levels of the party cadre are loose tongued, use filthy words and are known drunkards. Except for a couple of leaders like Harish Rao, others dont stand good in public scrutiny. This has given a very bad image of Telangana itself and people outside Telangana started thinking whether this is the culture of Telangana - using filthy words and drinking.

People from Telangana itself have understood that they have been taken for a ride by TRS and thus started opting for such parties like TDP, which are known well about their policy for a United Andhra Pradesh (Samaikya Andhra Pradesh). This has reflected in the dwindling vote share of TRS past couple of elections. I strongly believe TRS would be wiped out of the map in the general and state elections slated next year.

So, is separate Telangana State issue a closed chapter ?? I dont think so !! Even though people have opted for other parties, separate Telangana State is an issue which is something close to the hearts of people. TRS has to work hard to regain its lost glory. They have to come closer to all sections (Telanganas and Andhras who have settled in Telangana areas) of people and most importantly strive for the development of their constituencies. TRS has not got entire right on Telangana but TRS has the credit of taking the issue to the national stage. Atleast for that purpose, we need to credit TRS !!

Another factor that played in this elections is the role of new political party, Lok Satta. This was started by a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer. Lok Satta was initially started as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and then transformed into a political outfit whose aim is clean politics where there is no place for corruption, nepotism and all the other ills of politics. Their aims look great but is it possible in India where political parties are spending hundreds of Millions just for the sake of a single assembly seat ? Practically Impossible !!
I voted to them because of There Is No Alternative (TINA) factor. Iam a traditional Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporter and since BJP didnt contest in Khairatabad, and since Iam a traditional anti-Congress supporter, I had no option but vote to Lok Satta.

Lok Satta played a destabilizing role in the Musheerabad Assembly constituency in Hyderabad where BJP candidate, Dr.Lakshman was pitted against a old Congress lady. BJP chances weakened as the Congress used money and muscle power as BJP stood no chance against their power. But Lakshman fought hard and was leading in many rounds of vote counting. What tilted the balance is the 5000 odd votes Lok Satta got denting traditional BJP vote bank - the educated !! End of the day, BJP lost the elections by a very low margin on 2000 odd votes.

This comes back to the point "Is there a necessity for so many political parties?". In a democracy like ours, such questions are not answered nor asked!!

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Blogger Nalini said...

A good article on why we educated people need to make a wise and well informed decision and this should be the case with every individual because we all owe it to ourselves to be true to the cause.

I for one, am a BJP loyalist, but definitely believe in the change that Lok Satta wants to bring about. But how far is it possible in a distorted political system (at times I wonder if there is one) like ours??? Common man (especially the middle class) suffers the most......

2:37 PM  
Blogger Sathiya said...

Nice article Madhav! I'm not a supporter of any particular party but I hate the parties that makes use of the religion to fill their vote bank. I also think that if we are a supporter of a particular party, we tend to ignore all the mistakes done by that party.

Regarding the Separate Telangana state, I don't have much knowledge on that. So, I would like to know how it is going to benefit Telangana people?

Also, if you get a separate Telangana, don't you think more problems will surface in terms of land, water etc., (e.g., the problem that Tamilnadu faces with Karnataka)

10:46 AM  
Blogger Madhav said...

River Godavari flows through Telangana region before crossing into Andhra Region and then into the Bay of Bengal. It cuts through the Telangana districts of Nizamabad, Adilabad, Warangal, Karimnagar and Khammam before entering East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Region.
Hardly any developmental activity is done in the Telangana Region and lot of water goes waste into the Sea. The reason cited are that Telangana is in deccan plateau and it is difficult to build dams. But, lift irrigation is a very good area which was not broached as it is a bit costly affair.
Once we get Telangana State, we will do what all we can. We have minerals and coal (the famous Singareni Collaries), Water and fertile areas of Warangal and Nizamabad.
We will become self sufficient in no time.

11:48 AM  

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