Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao submits to Governor the cabinet resolution seeking to dissolve the state assembly (Source: PTI)

Did Telangana Chief Minister KC Rao Seek Early Polls To Counter Anti-Incumbency?

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s decision to dissolve the state assembly months before its term ends has surprised opposition party members.

Rao has also announced candidates for 105 of the 119 constituencies as Telangana Rashtriya Samithi seeks to retain the power in the state.

“Telangana Rashtriya Samithi’s decision to seek early elections is done to neutralise the rising anti-incumbency in the state,” said political analyst Krishna Prasad. “It could be using early elections to test a trial balloon for the BJP.”

Speculation was rife for quite some time that Rao may go in for an early poll as the opposition in the state was in a disarray, according to a PTI report. The final decision on whether to hold an early election now rests with the Election Commission.

Election to the Telangana assembly would coincide with the Lok Sabha polls in normal circumstances.

“Holding assembly and Lok Sabha elections separately could help Telangana Rashtriya Samithi avoid taking a side in general elections,” senior journalist TM Veeraraghav told BloombergQuint in an interaction. This, he said, could help the party as partnering the Bharatiya Janata Party may hurt its minority vote bank while the Congress remains the major rival in the state.

Also read: Opposition Parties Tear Into Telangana Chief Minister Over Early Poll Move

Is The Party Eyeing A Larger Role In National Politics?

The council of ministers led by Rao assumed office on June 2, 2014, the day Telangana came into existence as the 29th state. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi bagged 63 seats in the 2014 polls.

“Telangana’s chief minister has taken a huge gamble by seeking early assembly elections,” political commentator and strategist Amitabh Tiwari told BloombergQuint. Rao, Tiwari said, has “nationalised” the national elections and that could hurt the party’s chances in the Lok Sabha elections next year. “This gamble could pay off if regional parties form the next government with the support of the Congress.”

Watch the full interview here: