Hyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi will romp home with an impressive mandate in the coming Assembly elections in the State with the Aaj Tak-India Today pre-poll survey handing out a healthy 43 per cent vote share to the ruling party. The survey, results of which were announced on Friday, reveals that the people of Telangana are very happy with the performance of the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led government in the past four-and-half years with about 2/3rd of the people hailing the government initiatives.
What is interesting is that the TRS, according to the survey, has surged ahead in vote share since 2014 when it was 34 per cent, registering an increase of 9 percentage points which in terms of number of seats could be way above 63 the ruling party had bagged in the bifurcation elections. Compared to the TRS, the Congress vote share has dropped from 26 per cent in 2014 to 18 per cent in the survey, taking a significant beating of 8 percentage points, a swing that could spell doom for the party. The Congress had won 21 seats in the 2014 elections.
Chandrashekhar Rao, whose combination of scores of developmental and welfare programmes had catapulted Telangana to the top of the table in the country on several counts, is the favourite for the Chief Minister’s chair again, with 43 per cent of the electorate pitching for him, leaving TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy at a distant second position with 18 per cent people believing he could make it.
Chandrashekhar Rao leads in all segments of society when it comes to choice of the next Chief Minister. Given the developmental and welfare programmes the TRS government launched for the rural folk, farmers, underprivileged and the minorities, it should not come as a surprise that 43 per cent of the rural votes were in his favour and 40 per cent of the Muslim voters also preferred him. Among the farmers, 44 per cent gave the nod for KCR while SC, OBCs and the service class pitched in with 42 per cent, 44 per cent and 43 per cent respectively. Uttam Kumar Reddy’s scoreline in these categories was in the region of 15 to 18 per cent.
What is more is that 11 per cent of the people interviewed in the survey in the State believe that KCR should be the next Prime Minister of the country, given the fact that he has already announced his intention to play an active role in national politics. Leading the pack is Narendra Modi at 44 per cent and Congress president Rahul Gandhi at 39 per cent.
What could be a knotty issue for the Opposition is the shaky pre-poll alliance struck between Congress, TDP and the CPI. In 2014, the TDP together with the BJP accounted for about 20 per cent for 20 seats between them.
Since then, the TDP stocks in the State have plummeted to abysmal levels in the State, and the party is seeking to resuscitate itself by riding piggy-back on an already tattered Congress. Going by the declining percentage vote share of the Congress, the alliance with TDP, which dropped out of the NDA, may only prove to be drag on the main Opposition party.
According to another survey carried out by VDP Associates, the TRS is all set to claim at least 80 seats in the coming Assembly elections with the Congress expected to get just a quarter of that (20 seats). The BJP, the VDP survey states, would get seven seats while the MIM would retain its eight. Others would account for four seats, though it is not clear who the others are in the new State.
The VDP survey gives the TRS a 41 per cent vote share as against 27 per cent for the Congress. The BJP is expected to get about 10 per cent while the MIM will account for six per cent.