The BJP continues to increase its vote bank in Telangana

The BJP continues to increase its vote bank in Telangana

Though the Congress won the Telangana Assembly elections last year, beating the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), in fact the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that silently made impressive gains in the state. Nearly doubling its vote share to 13.90% from the 7% it secured in the 2018 state elections, the BJP today has managed to gain deposits in constituencies where it never even had a footing earlier.

Principally the game plan of the BJP is to fool the OBCs, SCs, STs by misleading them that it will eradicate reservation to Backwards among Muslims and that it will add that reservation to OBCs, SCs and STs. The incessant polarisation of Hindu vote banks by trying to show doors to underprivileged Muslims.

Voting patterns for the state and Lok Sabha elections are different.  The data also shows that voters don’t tend to vote similarly for both. This explains why in spite of the BJP getting just one Assembly in the 2018 state polls, it managed to win four Lok Sabha seats with a 20% vote share in the 2019 general elections within months.

In the backdrop of last year’s Telangana Assembly elections, if the BJP manages to perform better and win more than the four Parliament seats it won in the 2019 elections with the similar process of polarisation of Hindu vote bank and it diverted the attention of commoners from their basic needs.

Fooling the masses, BJP tends to gain a strong foothold in Telangana in the coming days. It is predicted that this time cropping up for the Lok Sabha fight in Telangana is between the Congress and BJP as the BRS is unlikely to perform strongly after its defeat last year.

A look at the 2023 Assembly election data shows that the saffron party has managed to increase its presence and gain vote shares in over 45 out of Telangana’s 119 constituencies. In fact, it managed to even come in second at some places. These include seats like Bodhan (19.52%), Jagtial (23.89%) and Mancherial (20.69%) where the BJP has managed to improve its vote share, where it never had any presence.

It may be noted that the BJP historically has had a presence in Hyderabad where it has been winning Assembly and Parliamentary seats on its own or with alliances. The important thing to note is its growth across Telangana’s 33 districts (to a varying extent), with some being small gains, while others were a big jump due to Ram Mandir and abusing the Lord Rama for its political gains.

Like one's loss is another's gain, the BJP has eaten into the BRS vote share in several seats up, also the Congress in some cases.

In the event that the BRS becomes severely weak, the BJP could easily replace the party as an alternative. in case there is ever a political vacuum in Telangana. It should be noted that after the Telangana state elections last year, BRS MLAs like Danam Nagender and ex-minister Kadiam Srihari joined the Congress, while a few sitting MPs also shifted to the BJP.

The BJP has made impressive gains. For example, in Warangal West, BJP managed to increase its vote share from 4.19% in 2018 to 18.46% in 2023, reducing the BRS candidate’s numbers. Similarly in Warangal East, BJP’s vote share shot up from just 3.04% to 30.04%, coming second. The BRS had won the seat with over 50% of votes in 2018. Other seats also indicate the improvement of the BJP vote bank.

Congress will have only something to celebrate only on June 2. The BJP is set to lose in Chevella, Malkajgiri, Zaheerabad and Mahbubnagar to the Congress.

In Telangana the Congress’ government’s performance in terms of promises it has made will also be a deciding factor. It is unfortunate that Congress made some confusing factors in implementing its promises. The Congress is expected to sweep in Nalgonda, Khammam, Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Ranga Reddy, Mahbubnagar, Medak and the Congress may go poor in Adilabad..

Now it is being anticipated that apart from reducing BJP's four seats from 2019, the BJP could win from Malkajgiri  besides Adilabad in Telangana. What will happen has to be seen. The people defeated BRS and the BJP's ex-BJP state chief Bandi Sanjay and ex-Huzurabad MLA Eatala Rajender are also contesting on BCs vote bnk again now.

They are in one category, and the other is of ex-BRS leaders who joined BJP before the Lok Sabha elections. Jayarams and Gayarams are there in BJP as nine out of 17 BJP candidates are from BRS.

The BRS will have an existential crisis going into the future. The BJP managed to increase its MLAs and vote share as it gave more tickets to Backward Classes, while the Congress gave lesser tickets to OBCs.

Telangana was bifurcated from Andhra Pradesh in 2014, and simultaneous elections were held for both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections that year. In 2014, the BJP and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had a pre-poll alliance and the former contested in 45 seats, out of which it won five. All the constituencies it won (Uppal, Musheerabad, Amberpet, Goshamahal and LB Nagar) were from Hyderabad, and the party managed to get a 19% vote share in Urban masses.

The TDP then won 15 seats out of the 72 it fought in (12 of its MLAs, however, switched over to the TRS and one to the Congress later). The TRS came to power by winning 63 seats in 2014. The BRS, then TRS, had come to power by winning 63 seats, while the Congress bagged 21 seats in the Assembly.

The anti Muslims All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) however retained its 7 seven constituencies in Hyderabad, while the AIMIM has no road map or the manifesto..

BRS chief KCR soon engineered large scale defections and virtually emptied the TDP and Congress camps. He als dissolved the Assembly six months in advance, hence the second Telangana elections were held in December 2018. The BRS stormed to power by winning 88 out of 119 seats, while the Congress, BJP and AIMIM got 19, one and seven seats each.

Interestingly in 2018, the TDP had broken ties with the BJP nationally, and hence allied with the Congress in Telangana. The partnership however failed to yield results and the TDP that has been finished in Telangana.

The  BRS is in fray in a handful of seats this time and that it was not expecting to win more seats. Congress on the other hand is confident of winning over 10 in the state at the very least.

The BJP managed to shock everyone by winning four Parliamentary seats in the subsequent in Karimnagar, Secunderabad, Nizamabad and Adilabad – with about 20% of the vote share. 

The Congress won three, while the BRS secured nine. In comparative analysis with last year’s performance in the Assembly elections, it can not be seen that the BJP will continue its growth.