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Rejecting Telangana Referendum

New Delhi, Tue, 03 Jun 2008 Deepak Kumar Mohanty

As the Congress and TDP gained upper hand in the recently concluded byelections for 18 Assemblies and 4 parliamentary seats in Andhra Pradesh, the notion which come out from the result is the defeat of Telangana referendum and visibility of development agenda on the front.


The Telangana Rashtriya Samiti in the leadership of K. Chandrasekhar Rao failed miserably securing only 7 out of 18 Assembly seats and 2 of the four Lok Sabha seats, while Congress and TDP secured 6 and 5 in Assembly respectively and one each of parliament constituencies. It was a complete miscalculation of TRS to force for an ill-timed election with its lone political plank of separate statehood.

The result though came as a biggest setback for TRS on its stand on Telangana issue, but it gave some sort of hope to ruling Congress in regaining its momentum after a series of loss in different states, the latest one being Karnataka ; moreover sets the tone of fielding alone without any alliance.

The TDP as the main Opposition in the State too stuck to the development agenda as a whole like Congress but at the same time without undermining the regional sentiments. The voters en bloc supported the development criteria rather driving towards mere a regional base, as a separate state alone can’t bring overall growth of the region.

Again TRS action by forcing the government to conduct by-elections at a time when the nation is overstrained with high inflation and rising prices of essential commodity, then it was obvious for common mass to reckon the recklessness of political parties and vote accordingly, though this time the voter’s vision went against the TRS. Consequently, the TRS chief accepting the defeat resigned from the post.

The blow to TRS somehow reflects the same state of affairs that led to the defeat of Janta Dal Secular (JDS) as a result to political betrayal creating a sphere of annoyance for JDS and sympathy for BJP. Coming out of the UPA government over the same issue and sidelining the issues of development TRS too suffered the same.

However, it would be unwise to assess TRS’s altogether defeat as the disintegration of peoples’ sentiments for Telangana region, as TRS still has the largest support from the region with popular sentiment in favour. At the same time ruling Congress should turn up with more and more development issues to keep its place intact amid the separate statehood issue.


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