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In 2024 LS Elections, BJP scripted history in Telangana: How the party has gained momentum after losing steam in run-up to 2023 elections

The party was in near doldrums during the 2023 elections. It won only 8 Assembly seats out of the 119 seats. Too many unsavory happenings in late 2022 resulted in unexpected changes at the helm of the state. There was not enough time to salvage the 2023 result but under the stewardship of Mr. Kishan Reddy, the party was able to bounce back in the 2024 Lok Sabha, producing a stellar result!

When Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984, she was a member of the Lok Sabha from the Medak constituency in Telangana (then part of Andhra Pradesh state). The BJP won this seat in 1999 when it was in alliance with TDP. The victor, Mr. A. Narendra, went into TRS and won the seat again in 2004. And ever since, this seat has been a TRS stronghold for 20 years.

Medak was one of the two seats that TRS won in 2009. Medak was the seat from where KCR himself won in 2014 (and gave it up for the MLA seat because he became the CM). KCR’s MLA constituency is also part of the Medak Lok Sabha constituency. One can thus gauge the importance of this seat in the annals of history.

True to their nature, voters of Medak created a new history in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections 2024 – BJP won this seat on its own in 2024. The candidate, Mr. Raghunandan Rao is fairly well known and is the one who won the all-important Dubbaka Assembly by-election in 2020 – an election that heralded the downfall of KCR!

Mr. Raghunandan Rao is no stranger to Medak. This is his home constituency and he has also been the Medak in charge of TRS, back when he was a member of the TRS. All those grassroots-level contacts certainly played a crucial role in his stellar campaign in this constituency. He was up against formidable forces but the pro-Modi wave in Telangana coupled with some anger against the incumbent Congress party was used very well. 

Medak is not the only constituency in Telangana where history was made. India’s biggest Lok Sabha constituency is Malkajigiri constituency in Telangana. Current Telangana Chief Minister, Revanth Reddy, won this seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In a way, this was his sitting seat and with him winning the 2023 Assembly elections, this seat was supposed to be an easy seat for the Congress. 

BJP’s candidate, Mr. Eatala Rajendar, won this seat by polling a whopping 53% of the votes! He is also no stranger to the people of Telangana and in fact has been a pillar for TRS until KCR unceremoniously decided to sack him. Though he won the assembly by-poll in 2021, he lost his seat in the 2023 elections only to make a great comeback in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections! 

Mahbubnagar constituency also witnessed another scintillating contest in which the BJP candidate, Mrs. D.K. Aruna won by a slender margin of ~4500 votes! KCR himself won from here in 2009 (in alliance with the TDP and Communists). Current Telangana Chief Minister from Congress, Revanth Reddy’s assembly constituency forms a part of Mahbubnagar Lok Sabha Constituency too! No wonder this was touted as a very tough seat right from the beginning. Nevertheless, one of BJP’s national Vice Presidents, Mrs. D.K. Aruna put up such a spirited fight that the BJP wrested this seat too. 

One of the most unique constituencies in Telangana (and perhaps India) is the Chevella constituency. It ranges from the famed Hi-Tech city of Hyderabad to interior villages in Vikarabad – making it a unique combination of pure Urban and pure Rural populace! BJP’s candidate, Mr. Konda Vishweshwar Reddy is a highly accomplished entrepreneur; comes from a highly respectable family; is married into a highly respectable family; has been an MP in 2014 from TRS; and has now won it for a 2nd time in 2024, from the BJP. 

In addition to these 4 seats, the BJP has also retained 4 seats it won in the 2019 elections – Adilabad, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, and Secunderabad.

The party was in near doldrums during the 2023 elections. It won only 8 Assembly seats out of the 119 seats. Too many unsavory happenings in late 2022 resulted in unexpected changes at the helm of the state. There was not enough time to salvage the 2023 result but under the stewardship of Mr. Kishan Reddy, the party was able to bounce back in the 2024 Lok Sabha, producing a stellar result! A combination of very good candidate selection; early announcement of all candidates; and a great campaign that added to the Modi wave in the state enabled BJP to win 8 and come 2nd in 7 seats!

The Congress party was hopeful of winning 12-14 seats, riding on their victory just 6 months back in the assembly polls. However, a combination of unfulfilled promises and a very strong resurgence of the BJP ensured that they won 8 seats. 

The second biggest story though, is the decimation of the BRS. They won 0. From being a ruling party just 6 months back to scoring a naught – the downward spiral was perhaps not surprising, given how the party reacted to the loss in the Assembly elections. Not a single lesson was learned by the leadership. KCR, injured from a fall at his home, didn’t go to the Assembly at all – leaving it to his son and nephew to do all the firefighting. KCR’s son, KTR, continued to exhibit unparalleled arrogance (the same that led to the loss in the first place) in his speeches and interactions. KCR didn’t even issue a statement when his daughter, Kavitha, was arrested in the Delhi Liquor scam case. He was quick to release a statement when Kejriwal was arrested though. Actions like these didn’t obviously go well with the people. The cadre was very quick to desert the leadership – resulting in a whopping drop of 24% vote share!

BJP, which was primed to rise as the second major party in the run-up to the 2023 elections lost steam closer to the elections. It is now again in the same position. The national leadership should not let this current position of strength slip like last time. The people’s faith in the BJP must be taken forward in Telangana, for a replication of the Odisha situation! 

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S. Sudhir Kumar
S. Sudhir Kumar
Obsessive eater, Compulsive sleeper, Repulsive Writer

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