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Posted at: Dec 7, 2018, 1:29 AM; last updated: Dec 7, 2018, 1:29 AM (IST)

Amid Oppn salvo, ruling TRS holds its own in Nizamabad

Banks on welfare schemes in KCR daughter’s seat

Naveen S Garewal

Tribune News Service

Nizamabad, December 6

Efforts by the BJP and Congress-led “Praja Kutami” (grand alliance) to infiltrate the TRS bastion in central Telangana’s Nizamabad district seem to have proved futile.

The region has seen a fierce political attack as caretaker Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter is the local MP.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted KCR with his “go to London and stay there for five years” jibe in his first election rally here. But the TRS appears to have held on.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi too picked Nizamabad to take on the TRS. Much persuasion through political speeches that the car (TRS election symbol) can only accommodate four (KCR, his son, daughter and nephew) has failed to find resonance with locals who are unwilling to bite the bait and remain “indebted” to the TRS for various welfare schemes that have changed their lives.

Initially, it appeared that the TRS bastion was for the first time under siege. The perceived anti-incumbency and presence of BJP and Congress-led grand alliance, which includes Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), TDP and the CPI, made KCR nervous, making him make frequent trips to the area. He managed to persuade the people and it seems his party has managed to regain its dominance in all seven Assembly segments falling under the parliamentary seat.

The party was banking solely on the popularity of the caretaker CM, but when voters began to waver, KCR had to step in. Today, barring the Nizamabad (Urban) seat, where the BJP has tremendous clout, the TRS appears comfortably placed in Nizamabad (Rural), Armoor, Balkonda, Bodhan, Jagtial and Korutla constituencies.

“We will do better than our opponents are expecting. They thought they could hit KCR on his turf, but have failed,” says KCR’s daughter K Kavitha.

Things have changed from the beginning of the campaign when local TRS leaders in private questioned KCR’s move to advance the Assembly elections. “Lack of accessibility to local legislators and TRS leadership in general has pushed voters away from the party that got them a separate Telangana state. But KCRs has strategically reversed that by telling people that the BJP and alliance will withdraw all welfare schemes he implements and this has changed voters’ mind,” says T Ramesh a farmer at the Ankapoor vegetable market.

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