CM Naidu eyes GHMC polls as TDP seeks revival in Telangana

HYDERABAD : As AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu sets his eyes on Telangana for the revival of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the BRS and Congress are watching the unfolding scenario very closely.

The BRS appears to be wondering whether it can make the best use of the adversity of the entry of Chandrababu Naidu into the state to stoke the flames of Telangana sentiment and bounce back.

The immediate target in Telangana for Chandrababu Naidu appears to be the Greater Hyderabad municipal elections due next year.

With Naidu expressing his desire to revive the party in Telangana, the Congress is also apprehensive about losing its vote share to the TDP.

TPCC working president T Jayaprakash Reddy alias Jagga Reddy has said that the Congress cadre and leaders should remain alert over the threat of TDP’s foray into Hyderabad along with the BJP and Jana Sena Party. The TDP believes it has a base in the GHMC area.

The Congress leaders are worried over the possible desertion of the leaders with TDP moorings. There are many such leaders in the Congress now who began their political careers in the TDP.

They include MLAs and those who have been appointed to nominated posts. If they decide to return to their alma mater, the Congress is likely to suffer.

There are now reports that the TDP is likely to contest the elections to the GHMC in alliance with the BJP and Jana Sena, the same troika that fought and won elections in the neighbouring AP. The hotly debated subject is what would be the fortunes of the BRS and those of the Congress in such an eventuality.

Sources in the BJP said that the party thinks that it could benefit to some extent in settler segments. But there is YSRC which has some hold in some pockets in the GHMC. If the party chooses to contest, then it would dent the prospects of the TDP-BJP-Jana Sena combine and help the BRS.

A BRS leader and former minister said that the pink party might have an alliance with the YSRC to improve its prospects in 20 to 30 divisions in six to eight Assembly constituencies where Andhra voters live in significant numbers.

In the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) elections in 2002, TDP won 22 of the 99 seats, AIMIM 34, Congress 22, BJP 18, TRS (now BRS) 2, MBT 2, Telangana Sadhana Samiti 1 and others 1.

But in the 2009 Greater Hyderabad municipal elections, the Congress won 52 seats, TDP 55, AIMIM 43, BJP 5 and Independents 5 of the 150 seats. The BRS did not contest the elections.

In the 2016 elections, the BRS won 99 seats, AIMIM 44, BJP 4, TDP 1, and Congress 2. In 2020, the BRS won 56 seats, AIMIM 44, BJP 47, Congress 3 and TDP zero. As the TDP does not have any representation in the GHMC council, the party now wants to stage a comeback.

Now, the TDP is focused on Telangana after it won Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections and Naidu became chief minister for the fourth time. The TDP is perceived to have a strong base in Assembly segments of Kukatpally, Serilingampally, Rajendranagar, LB Nagar, Uppal, Sanathnagar, Malkajgiri, Quthbullapur and Jubilee Hills.

Several of those who won the last two elections on BRS tickets were corporators of the TDP earlier. Now, the BRS is becoming weak with each passing day with MLAs and MLCs joining the Congress in droves. Several corporators have already joined the ruling party.

About 80 per cent of MLAs under Greater Hyderabad limits became legislators for the first time on the TDP symbol and later joined the BRS. Naidu had said that leaders had switched loyalty but not the cadre.

As of now, the BJP has not yet reacted to Naidu’s intentions to make a foray into Telangana. The BJP had won 47 seats in the last GHMC elections and won three Lok Sabha seats in the GHMC area — Secunderabad, Malkajgiri and Chevella.

The party has a strong voter base in the city and how the party’s high command would figure out its strategy for the ensuing GHMC elections remains to be seen.

Political analysts state that if the TDP, BJP and Jana Sena contest as a coalition, the Congress fortunes would be dented. The ruling party did not win even a single seat in GHMC limits in the Assembly polls. This has forced the Congress to begin Operation Akarsh to onboard BRS MLAs to strengthen the party in the city. On the other hand, the BRS has a significant vote share in the city.


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