Telangana and India are speaking in unequivocal terms, loud and clear, that there is space only for constructive and inclusive politics and no space for divisive and appeasement tactics
Dubbaka Bye-Election result is a watershed moment in Telangana politics. It is a rural constituency in the Siddipet district bordering three assembly divisions - Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao represents Rajewal, his son and IT Minister K. T. Rama Rao is a member from Sircilla. KCR's nephew T. Harish Rao, the Finance Minister of Telangana and all-powerful organisational pillar of the TRS party is the MLA from Siddipet. The victory of M Raghunandan Rao of BJP over S Sujatha Reddy of TRS by 1,431 votes puts a question mark on KCR's dynasty politics and governance practices. S Sujata is the widow of the recently deceased TRS MLA who had represented the constituency since 2014. Two things stand out in this result; TRS had 53.37 % and 54.36 % votes in the last two assembly elections when S Ramalinga Reddy won. Now it has plummeted to an all-time low of 37.69 %. A mighty fall from its 62,500 vote's margin of victory in 2018. On the other hand, BJP and its candidate Raghunandan Rao increased its vote share from 9.82 % in 2014 to 13.75% in 2018 and now to 38.57% in 2020. To put things in perspective, KCR had never lost a by-election to the Assembly since 2014 and had even managed to win Huzurnagar during the TSRTC strike in 2019.
Being a nondescript constituency amidst VIP assembly divisions is the ill fate for the people of Dubbaka. It is a familiar story in the rest of Telangana. The callous attitude, if not indifference of the TRS government in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic coupled with the disastrous handling of the Hyderabad flooding, has awakened the political consciousness of the people of Telangana. Unlike past elections, the high number of students and private-sector employees in the constituency due to the pandemic has been a big factor in deciding the outcome. They were able to influence fellow voters to see through the empty promises, the rhetoric of development, and neglect of people outside VIP constituencies. The convinced youth is behind this emphatic breakthrough for BJP in Telangana. Undoubtedly, this is the continuation of the 2019 Lok Sabha victory for NDA in the state.
The callous attitude, if not indifference of the TRS government in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic coupled with the disastrous handling of the Hyderabad flooding, has awakened the political consciousness of the people of Telangana
Beyond the dynasty rules and maladministration as electoral variables, the positive direction charted by the Union government led by Narendra Modi also played its role in this election. The recent Farm Bill, the assertion of national interests, proactive steps against mischievous neighbours, and developmental initiatives are scrutinised by the people, especially the young and educated. This form of governance and leadership is contrasted to the land encroachments, stagnating agricultural productivity, and the private mafia in education in Telangana. Unlike the Congress and Left parties in the state and elsewhere in the country who indulge in politics of noise like what we have seen in the anti CAA protests, the politicisation of students' deaths, etc., what BJP offers is a vision with a plan. People have accepted it not only in Telangana but also in other parts of the country, as the recent election results show.
Restricting myself to Telangana, the gains are through two grounds – failure of the current regime and the alternative offered by the BJP, backed by its record of accomplishment across the country. It is also important to underline the direction sought by the youth of India. Stepping away from the caste, regional, and divisive politics; an inheritance of the Congress system and myopia of the rootless Left politics, the youth and the people are demanding vision and action. The relevance of Dubbakka results indicates this trend, a much-needed flip to take our country to progress and prosperity. This vision and action, a developmental future anchored on our collective strength have no place for nepotism and maladministration. Certainly, the present victory triggered by the youth power is an act of sweet revenge on KCR who reaped benefits from the sacrifice of thousands of students and youth during the Telangana movement.
This reaffirmation should make politicians and political parties take note of our political culture and heritage. Bharatiya ethos, the unifying factor in our diverse social, economic, and political lives expressed as Bharatiya nationalism is the anchor on which any social and economic engineering of our present, and future is possible. South of Vindhya is no exception to it, no matter the efforts of various political mercenaries to sell it. Cracking of the Pink Fort is the first step towards our onward journey of inclusive growth and development.