-He made all the opposition space available for BJP
-It became a virtual two-way contest in 100 wards
-All anti-establishment votes went to the saffron party intact
To decimate the opposition is not always a good idea. It may ultimately hurt the the person or the party that destroyed the opposition.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) had learnt the lesson a hard way in the latest hustings. He single-mindedly concentrated on weakening the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and almost finished it in Telangana although the TDP chief and his son have been living in Hyderabad. Both N. Chandrababu Naidu and Nara Lokesh did not show up in the campaign for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections although the party has fielded more than a hundred candidates, 105 to be precise. May be they did not want to campaign in municipal elections since they are the party’s national president and national general secretary. The TDP’s shop in Telangana is as good as closed.
The Congress was a reasonable force until the 2018 TS assembly elections. KCR has continued with his pet game of diluting the other opposition party, the Congress, an alliance partner of the TDP. Key leaders like Sabita Indra Reddy and Suresh Reddy were lured with positions of a cabinet minister and Rajya Sabha MP respectively. Only a few leaders of substance were left with the grand old party. There was no leader of any stature in Greater Hyderabad with Danam Nagender and the family members of late P. Janardhan Reddy crossing over from the Congress to the TRS. TPCC president Uttama Kumar Reddy, senior leaders such as Jana Reddy, Venkata Reddy and others from the adjoining Nalgonda district are past their prime not in a position to win elections or bring votes for the party candidates. The Congress party in Telangana is in a state of coma thanks to Gandhi- Nehru family and KCR.
So much so, when BJP entered the GHMC electoral battle with an upset victory in Dubbaka bypoll under it’s belt, the whole of the opposition space was ready for the saffron party to occupy. In Dubbaka, the Congress was reduced to a poor third player. With MIM in a dominating position, the party nurtured by Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi had to be content with a very distant fourth position in GHMC, the ratio between the MIM, the third in the pecking order, and the Congress is 44:2. Almost all the anti-incumbancy vote would have gone to the BJP intact thus helping the party win as many as 48 seats.
Had KCR left the Congress and the TDP alone, had they continued their 2018 alliance, as Revanth Reddy suggested, it would have been a three- corner contest with the BJP in third position. Then the anti-establushment vote, which was substantial, would have split in two ways. The TRS would have got the same number of votes that it has got helping it to bag more seats than it did. It was a self-goal on the part of KCR.
The moral of the lesson is don’t dessiminate the opposition. The other lesson is you might get leaders of other parties to your side but the workers don’t move with them. That was why leaders like Srinivasa Yadav, Sabita Indra Reddy, Sudhir Reddy and Prakash Goud who came from the TDP and the Congress were helpless spectators when the TRS candidates were being trounced by the saffron brigade. The workers who were with them earlier had joined the BJP bandwagon. That is poetic justice.