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Stage set for high-stakes showdown in Telangana

HYDERABAD: The upcoming elections are literally a high-stakes showdown for all the three major political players in the fray, but more so for the BRS and BJP.

While each party is vying for dominance by winning a majority of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana, the result will have immense ramification on its future.

For the BRS, led by former chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, these elections are of utmost importance in reaffirming the party’s standing in the state. A strong showing in the Lok Sabha polls would not only bolster its credibility but also silence speculations about its waning influence following the defeat in the 2023 Assembly elections.

While the aggressive campaigning by KCR along with party stalwarts T Harish Rao and KT Rama Rao has infused a sense of optimism among cadre and supporters, questions regarding the loyalty of certain MLAs remain.

According to sources in the pink party, many of its MLAs are in touch with the Congress and are waiting for the Lok Sabha elections results. If the BRS performs well, they are likely to continue in the party, and if not, trouble may be brewing for KCR.

Meanwhile, the BJP has its eyes firmly set on coming to power in the state and is putting in all efforts to achieve this target. To make inroads in Telangana, the party knows that it not only has to retain the four Lok Sabha seats, but also win about six more seats to properly announce its arrival as a formidable political player in Telangana.

The party has been aggressive in its campaign, banking heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma and Amit Shah’s strategising. The results will not only indicate the BJP’s trajectory in Telangana, but will also influence its long-term political strategy in the region.

The Congress, led by Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy, is treating the ongoing elections as a litmus test and a referendum on its governance.

The party’s top leaders — Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi — have been working hard to rally support from the public and win a majority of the seats on offer. Failure to achieve this target could spell trouble for the Revanth Reddy administration and questions would be raised about his ability to sustain the mandate given to him in 2023.

Also, if the INDIA bloc goes on to form the government at the Centre, a good performance by the Congress in the state would mean improved chances for the party leaders to become members of the Union Cabinet.

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