Change started in Telangana
within 100 days,
Let's bring the Change
to Centre, too...

Reads Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy's tagline in advertisements released in the last lap of the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, where polling is slated for May 13. Primarily, the idea is if the Congress party comes to power at the Centre in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, the party will implement the Telangana Model of Governance.

Putting his seal of approval, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi raised the issue of replicating Telangana Model at the national level, while addressing election rallies in Nirmal and Gadwal in Telangana on May 5. Revanth Reddy said the biggest compliment for the State Government’s performance is the recognition as a model of governance in the country by the party's national leadership.

As the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate in the run up to the General Election in 2014, Narendra Modi spoke enthusiastically about the Gujarat Model. But soon, he gave it a quiet burial, as quickly as he raised it, even before the people could figure it out as to what really constitues the Gujarat Model.

Against this backdrop, 10 years down the line, Revanth Reddy in 2024 raised the pitch for the Telangana Model.

The Telangana Model is really interesting and how it is set to be replicated at the national level is equally significant. The Congress Election Manifesto is premised on 5 Nyays and 25 Guarantees. These 25 Guarantees are modeled on 5 Guarantees introduced in Karnataka and 6 Guarantees in Telangana, which brought the Congress to power in the respective States.

The Congress was more focused in Telangana, where it fine-tuned the 6 Guarantees. The Guarantee of Rs 2,500 per month for women in Telangana is a key Guarantee that caught the imagination of the Congress leadership. This Guarantee has been adopted in the AICC Election Manifesto. It promises Rs 8,500 per month, totalling to Rs 1 lakh per year, to be deposited directly into the bank accounts of women.

Now, at the national level, the Congress Election Manifesto provides financial aid to women from poor families and offers jobs to the youth. Elaborating on the theme, Revanth Reddy pitches the Telangana Model as pro-poor governance, including guarantees and welfare schemes for SCs, STs, OBCs, Minorities and other underprivileged groups, across the country.

Apart, it includes Caste Census, which is something already approved by the Telangana Assembly. The Caste Census provides the numbers of SCs, STs, OBCs and Minorities, based on which Reservation will be reworked. Besides, it has already been announced by the Congress that it proposes to remove the 50 per cent cap of Reservation introduced by the Supreme Court, in a bid to reflect the social reality, where SCs, STs, OBCs and Minorities together constitute close to 90 per cent of the population.

Revanth Reddy took Oath of Office and Secrecy on December 7, 2023, and the Model Code of Conduct came into force on March 16, 2024, which hit governance. The normal six month honeymoon period, too, was not available to him. Soon he plunged headlong into election work.

In the barely three months period from December 7, 2023, till Model Code of Conduct kicked in on March 16, 2024, in these 100 days, the State Chief Minister did manage to rush through a lot of work. For instance, 5 out of thr 6 Guarantees have been implemented. In Rythu Bharosa Scheme for the farmers, the entire amount has been disbursed directly into bank accounts of farmers.

A deadline of August 15, 2024, has been set by the Chief Minister for the farm loan waiver to the tune of Rs 2 lakh.

As a result, Revanth Reddy is hoping that there is a feel-good factor that will benefit his campaign. There is no adverse impact as such, which could even remotely help the Opposition.

The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) of former Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao is yet to recover from the shock of losing power in the State. According to some surveys, in two to three seats, BRS stands at No 2 position and in the rest at No 3 position.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lacks Statewide presence to pose any serious political challenge to the Congress. But there is a possibility of BRS vote shifting to the BJP.

As such, Revanth Reddy expects smooth sailing through the Lok Sabha elections.

Poll pundits predict that though there appears to be a triangular contest in most seats, it is likely that it may end up as a straight fight either between Congress-BRS in some seats, or the Congress-BJP fight in other seats.

This trend was discernible during the prestigious State Assembly by-election contests when BRS was in power. In the Dubbak and Munugode Assembly by-elections, it was a BRS-BJP contest, where the Congress was pushed to the third position. In Nagarjunasagar and Huzurnagar Assembly by-elections, it was Congress-BRS fight, in which BJP was pushed to the third position.

The main battles are expected in the Lok Sabha constituencies of Mahbubnagar, Mahboobabad, Warangal, Chevella, Karimnagar and Nizamabad.

All the three political parties are fighting a battle for survival. All the three parties of BRS, BJP and Congress, are engaged in a do-or-die electoral battle.

BRS is faced with a threat to its own survival. KCR has to keep himself relevant in State politics to keep his fledgling party afloat.

BJP needs to make significant headway to help its national tally aiming for 400-plus. It also needs to break new ground and find a new gateway to enter the South. After Karnataka seems to be slipping out of its hands, the BJP is eyeing Telangana as the new gateway to South. Prime Minister Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched an intensive campaign to work a miracle.

For the ruling Congress, the situation is much the same. If the Telangana State Assembly elections were the semi-finals, Lok Sabha elections are the finals for State Chief Minister Revanth Reddy. The Congress High Command expects Lok Sabha seats in the double-digit figure. Revanth Reddy is under pressure to deliver a decisive victory, in order to stabilize his own position.