Warangal Crisis Puts BRS in a Tight Spot as Voters Seek Opportunities for Others.

In the erstwhile combined Warangal district, a notable trend has emerged among voters expressing a desire for a change in party allegiance, not solely due to dissatisfaction with the government’s performance but as a means to explore alternative offerings from different political entities.

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The ruling BRS confronts a challenging scenario in replicating its success from the 2018 Assembly polls, exacerbated by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao’s decision to retain all incumbent MLAs, a move met with disapproval from the electorate.

Facing significant anti-incumbency following consecutive terms in power, the Congress seems to have made substantial strides in the district. The combined Warangal district comprises 12 Assembly constituencies, and in the 2018 polls, the BRS secured victory in 10 of them, ceding Bhupalapalle and Mulugu to the Congress.

While traditionally considered a BRS stronghold since the formation of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi in 2001, on-the-ground observations reveal voters seeking a “change,” not necessarily due to dissatisfaction with BRS but to provide an “opportunity” to other parties, commonly identified as the Congress.

Among grievances directed at BRS legislators, allegations of land grabbing by MLAs or their associates feature prominently. Concerns about frequent flooding in Warangal and Hanamkonda are attributed to the indiscriminate encroachment of lakes by BRS leaders, despite promises by KTR to address the issue.

The BRS’s appeals for votes based on the retention of the Dharani portal did not resonate with voters, who questioned the logic of foregoing government scheme benefits. Criticisms of Dharani included difficulties in correcting land record errors at the local level, necessitating trips to collectorates or the CCLA office in Hyderabad.

Regarding power policies, voters recall the Congress’s introduction of free power to agriculture in 2004, raising doubts about the BRS’s commitment to this initiative. The recent merger of TSRTC with the state government, though touted by the government, faced skepticism among employees, citing pending issues such as delayed DAs and unresolved PRC matters. The abolishment of employees’ unions in TSRTC was also criticized as an undemocratic move.

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