Hyderabad, Mar 16: K Chandrashekhar Rao returned as the Chief Minister of Telangana with a bigger mandate when compared to 2014, when the first election in India's newest state was held.
While KCR came up as a topper in the assembly segment, the Lok Sabha elections this year would be his big test on the national scene. With several surveys throwing up hung mandates, the election in Telangana would be crucial for the TRS, which has been trying to form a federal front.
Telangana sends 17 elected representatives to the Lok Sabha. The state was formed on June 2 2014. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections was the last election that a united Andhra Pradesh took part in.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the TRS won 11 out of the 17 seats that fell under the Telangana segment. The BJP and AIMM won one seat each, while the Congress bagged just two. The TDP and YSR Congress party too bagged a seat each.
Political analysts say that the TRS would be looking to improve its tally. The party has set its eyes on 15 seats and is hopeful of attaining that feat. If one goes by the performance of the TRS in the assembly segment, then 15 does not look like a difficult number to attain, analysts also point out.
One of the main problems daunting Telangana is that of jobs. Farmer suicides owing to low food prices, rising farm costs are the other major issues in the state. KCR would once again try and ride on his scheme Rytha Bandhu, an investment support initiative for the farmers. However, he would also have to deal with the complaints that the tenant farmer has not gained much from it.
In Telangana, the Congress looks like a non-starter. Despite being the party that decided to award a separate state, it was unable to capitalise on the sentiment in the 2014 elections, both in the assembly and Lok Sabha segment. While there was talk that the Congress would be rewarded in the next election, that did not take place and the results in the recently concluded assembly elections is a testimony of that fact.
In the assembly segment, TRS won 88 of the 119 seats with a vote share of 46.9 per cent. The Congress came second with just 28.4 per cent of the votes. The question is will this translate into the national polls as well. Speaking to people on the ground, one gets the impression that the sentiment is still in favour of KCR and nothing much has changed since the assembly polls.