Cong. can’t take solace in TRS loss

We have to fight two strong enemies now, says a leader

Huzurabad bypoll result might have given some underlying satisfaction for the Congress party with the message now clear that its main rival Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) can be defeated but that short time pleasure may prove to be costly for the party.

A section of the senior Congress leaders argue that a second alternative is being created for the people of Telangana apart from Congress if they had some anger to show on the TRS. Though many may dismiss the Huzurabad result as a win for Eatala Rajender rather than the BJP it remains a fact that BJP too can evolve in areas where it barely has any presence.

A senior leader who represented the party in the Parliment recalls how the BJP has created a place for itself in Nizamabad and Karimnagar Parliament seats where the Congress was a much stronger force and equivalent to the ruling TRS even after Telangana formation. “The win of Arvind Dharmapuri from Nizamabad and Bandi Sanjay from Karimnagar Parliament seats have reduced the space for Congress now. We are not decimated but their strong presence means Congress has to fight with two strong enemies,” he said wishing anonymity. “We had lost Secunderabad and Adilabad seats too though we held them for several terms.”

In this context, the party leaders feel the Huzurabad result cannot be termed as one of the kind but a bleak scenario staring at the Congress in seats where it could fight to win in a straight contest.

“Yes the BJP can’t find strong candidates like Eatala Rajender everywhere but this win may prompt them to encourage defection of strong Constituency level leaders from our party,” argues another leader.

Two-time MP from Nizamabad, Madhu Yaskhi Goud too agreed that the perception that BJP too can win in Telangana has to be thrashed immediately before it catches on. In fact, similar arguments were made in the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) meeting of the party the day after the Huzurabad results were out. “We can’t derive some satisfaction because the TRS has lost. Its loss has to be turned in favour of the Congress before the BJP takes advantage.”

The humiliating loss of the TRS, however, is being seen as a morale booster by the young leaders within the party. “KCR can be defeated and that too with such humiliation is indeed an indication of the changing mood in Telangana. Congress that has already stepped up the gas will occupy the anti-government space,” says AICC spokesperson Sravan Dasoju. “Huzurabad was never our seat and we did not win it sinece 1983.”

Leaders are confident that in rural areas Congress is way ahead of the BJP due to its traditional vote base apart from the farming community that is totally annoyed with the TRS and the BJP. The only worry however is the BC communities moving towards the BJP slowly and steadily.

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