Dubbak: The Congress and the BJP are completely at sea on how to counter the TRS in the impending by-election to Dubbak Assembly constituency necessitated by the death of Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy. Faced as they are with a tough customer in Finance Minister T Harish Rao, the two national parties are clueless and lack the wherewithal to take on the Siddipet strongman mentored by no less a person than TRS supremo and Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.
While Harish gained enormous experience in planning and executing election campaigns since the TRS party was founded some two decades ago, the Congress party has no prominent leader in Siddipet district while the BJP is marginally better off, in that it has M Ragunanandan Rao who can lay claim to be a known face, at least relatively. BJP’s presence in the constituency stops at his doorstep.
The opposition parties are way behind in putting together an election plan and executing them while Harish Rao has already summoned all the powers much before the actual election schedule is announced.
Since the formation of Telangana State in 2001, the TRS had fought several elections and by-elections since the party legislators tendered their resignations to press for the formation of the State following the call of TRS president Chandrashekar Rao. Under the guidance of the TRS president, Harish Rao had not only planned election strategies but also executed them well. Harish Rao, who has won six elections in a row from Siddipet Assembly constituency, had also guided the TRS to victory in post-State formation in erstwhile Medak district with his meticulous election plans.
Much before the candidates were declared, Harish Rao appointed TRS MLAs from erstwhile Medak district as in-charges of seven Mandals in Dubbak Constituency. Even when he was under home quarantine for 10 days after he tested positive for Covid-19, the canny politician was in constant touch with sarpanches, MPTCs, ZPTCs, other local body representatives and key leaders of the ruling party to take stock of the situation. He also guided the party legislators and other key leaders to meet the cadre at grassroots level to assess the situation, and resolve internal bickerings to keep the cadre and leaders united throughout the election campaign.
Once he recovered, Harish Rao wasted no time in jumping into action and toured the constituency several times, inaugurating all the development works that were ready for inauguration. He also used it as an opportunity to interact with party leaders and cadre to keep them motivated. Both the Congress and the BJP have not even touched base with their respective cadres yet.
To trounce opponents
The TRS slogan is not even one of ensuring the party candidate’s win but of ensuring a one lakh-plus margin of victory. Ramalinga Reddy had won the 2018 election by a margin of 62,500 votes.
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