The people of Telangana have made it clear and have voted for those parties which have shown some promise that they are in favour of a separate Telangana state. The issue that has rocked the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh is expected to a get dimension after the by-election and this is largely to do with the fact that the BJP managed to pick up a seat in the Telangana region of Mahabubnagar.
The fact that the BJP managed to win the Muslim dominated Mahabubnagar is being seen as a positive sign by some Telangana activists. The seat was won by defeating the Telangana Rastriya Samithi candidate and this according to the activists of the region is the beginning of a new dawn in which the region would see an alternate force.
In the by-election this was the only seat that was contested by the BJP and it did manage to win it. Prior to the election several representations were made to both K Chandrasekara Rao and also the Telangana Joint Action Committee not to field a TRS candidate against the BJP candidate. However this request was not heeded to and the TRS finally fielded a candidate who lost the seat at the end.
Telangana activists like Dr Prithviraj say that they are not looking at this victory as a win for the BJP alone. We are more excited that an alternate to the TRS has announced itself which means the process to form an alternate force in the Telangana region can now commence. We have often found that KCR has been claiming the proprietorship of the Telangana cause and more often than not he was the one who was heading the talks and it is clear that he had done nothing much about it. However with the TRS losing this seat we are now looking into the formation of an alternate force which could maintain a check and balance on the TRS. The victory of a non-TRS candidate also injects enthusiasm in the Nagam Janardhan Reddy group the United Front and the Praja Front. Moreover some of the activists of Telangana had been resting their hopes on the BJP which has always promised that it would form the state if brought to power in the centre. Had the BJP candidate lost there was a danger of the BJP looking to tie up with either Chandrababu Naidu or Jagan Mohan Reddy both of whom have been anti-Telangana. The people of Telangana hope that this victory would keep the interest of the BJP in the Telangana issue alive.
The Congress: For the Congress and the TDP it has been a disappointing day. There is already a damage control exercise that has begun in the wake of them losing all the 7 seats. While it was clear that they would lose in Telangana, the other worry is the emergence of the YSR Congress party which won at Kovuru. On the Telangana issue the Congress had been forced to react, but somehow the issue died down. The internal agreement was that they would act on the Telangana issue only before the elections so that the decision which would be fresh in the mind of the people could transform into votes in their favour. There is expected to be a fresh demand by the Congress leaders from the Telangana region to show some interest towards the cause. If the high command does not act this time then it would be curtains for them in the region.
The other big worry is the YSR Congress party which has been eroding into the vote base of the Congress. The Congress would however not worry too much about the Kovuru result as it was the TDP which lost its vote share in the by-election.
A Congress leader seeking anonymity said that the first thing that they would like to do is to boost the morale of their leaders. There are certain issues that need to be addressed and it is time for them to start working in those belts in particular which are being threatened by Jagan Mohan Reddy. In addition to this there also has to be a call taken on the Telangana issue soon or else the going could get tough.