The exit poll predictions for Telangana settled on nearly unanimous trends, with some predicting a sweeping victory for caretaker chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, the outliers suggested a winning edge for the Congress. Here’s a look at five key factors that could swing the results in the southern state.
Original Andhra Residents
The Old Hyderabad region is home to 27 assembly constituencies and about seven of them are strongholds of Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM. The remaining 20-odd seats have seen a tough fight between the opposition alliance, TRS and the BJP. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has tried to leverage the old Andhra settlers who are in maximum percentage in Telangana.
Muslims constitute 12.5 per cent of Telangana’s population. The TRS is hoping to garner their votes with popular schemes such as schools for minorities and scholarships, ‘Shaadi Mubarak’, and special budgets. However, it is these same schemes that the opposition alliance is targeting the K Chandrashekar Rao-led government over, including the failure to implement quotas for Muslims.
This is a divided vote bank and also the one that is upset with the KCR government as the promised three acres of land are yet to reach them. Political observers have given the TRS a ‘no’ when it comes to Dalit votes, but have also noted that since the vote bank is not a consolidated one, chances of a split remain high.
Do or Die For KCR
The election promises made by KCR are his powerless armour as most of his promised schemes remain unfulfilled. If KCR wins a second term, he will have his original 2014 manifesto promises and his current promises to fulfill.
The Game of the Alliance
While the opposition alliance with the TDP and the Congress is quite public, there is a silent alliance that has been forged between Owaisi and KCR. While Owaisi understands that he has no ambit beyond the seven seats in old Hyderabad region, he has been supportive of KCR’s second term as CM, unofficially. That would mean a strong fight for the opposition alliance if Owaisi is able to gain Muslim votes.