The election which is scheduled tomorrow for 4 Lok sabha seats and 18 Assembly seats is because of the en masse resignations of the TRS (Telangana Rastra Samiti) party representatives in March 2008, expressing the dissent with the attitude of UPA towards the new state of Telangana. As a result, the by-election forms a dress-rehearsel for the elections in 2009, a ‘semi final’ in the words of KCR, the chief of TRS. Ofcourse, some of the parties would like to see this by-election as a referendum for the concept of Telangana.
TRS has a definite edge over the other parties, since all these places were won by them in the previous election. It would be easier for them to win even without Congress, since the anti-government wave might help them. But, their deferral attitude towards an affirmative action might hurt them, since they have resigned just a few months before the elections, which left the people lose their faith in the party. TRS is also been branded as ‘opportunistic’, because of their decisions over the past 4 years. On the top of that, the performance index in terms of development initiatives by the party representatives in these regions, hasn’t been up to the mark, which meant to the Telanganites that it is yet another party with a change of color in the flag. But the stakes are high for TRS, as this is a great chance for them to establish their credibility and strengthen the Telangana movement.
Congress would have tough time, since it would have to fight the election with not just TDP (Telugu Desam Party), but also its previous allies: TRS and CPI(M). CPI(M) has a strong say in Telangana, and most of its seats in Andhra pradesh are generally from that region. Although they might not be key winners of the constituencies, they would play a crucial role in terms of votes-split. While, TDP, the only major party which still sticks to the ‘Samaikya Andhra’ (united Andhra) idea, is ‘rethinking’ about its strategy over the Telangana issue, owing to the increasing pressure from TDP Telangana leaders. However, the present stand of TDP in the election would still be the Samaikya Andhra.
On a whole, the election cannot be termed as a people say on ‘Telangana’, since it is not a complete election over the whole of region, but the constituencies where TRS has resigned. However, it would surely reflect upon the chances of Congress party and TRS in the coming general elections.