What went wrong in Telangana? Congress looks for answers

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Hyderabad | Published: December 12, 2018 6:52:05 PM

Organisational weaknesses, the tie-up with the TDP not working on the ground and some shortcomings of the state party leadership could be the reasons for poor performance of the Congress in the Telangana Assembly poll, party leaders said here Wednesday.

telangana assembly election, telangana election, telangana election results, telangana election muslim candidate, muslim candidate congress, congress muslim candidateSetting aside decades-old rivalry, the Congress and TDP had forged an electoral alliance for the December 7 Telangana poll to take on the TRS.

Organisational weaknesses, the tie-up with the TDP not working on the ground and some shortcomings of the state party leadership could be the reasons for poor performance of the Congress in the Telangana Assembly poll, party leaders said here Wednesday. Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily, who was part of the central party unit tasked with the poll strategy, blamed poor organisation at the state level for it. “Organisationally….we have not organised well. I have always been telling them (Telangana Congress unit)..you should organise much better, lack of organisation…the real bane of Telangana (Congress)”, the former Union Minister told PTI.

He said there was an anti-KCR (Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao) mood, but the Congress could not encash on it. Setting aside decades-old rivalry, the Congress and TDP had forged an electoral alliance for the December 7 Telangana poll to take on the TRS. But the Congress-led alliance, of which the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) and CPI were a part, came a cropper in the poll, with the Congress winning 19 seats and the TDP a mere two.

The TJS and CPI drew a blank. The TRS returned to power, bagging 88 seats in the 119-member Assembly. Some Congress leaders said the party and TDP may have failed to fully transfer votes to each other.

“Could be one reason…vote transfer could not be possible, maybe because TDP and Congress, they were not working together (earlier)”, the AICC in charge of Telangana Congress affairs R C Khuntia told PTI.

Khuntia said joint meetings of TDP and Congress workers had not been organised at the booth, mandal and block levels, where “there will always be dispute”, and was done only at public meetings and rallies. “So probably vote transfer at ground level could not be possible 100 per cent”, he said.

READ | Telangana Election Results: Shock defeat lands two political bigwigs in hospital

Senior Telangana Congress leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy said the party “failed to talk to the people all the shortcomings of the Government and its failures”. Reddy, former Vice-Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, termed his party’s election strategy as “hotch potch”.

“PCC President (Uttam Kumar Reddy) did not act like a leader. He was more like a group leader, trying to impose persons favoured by him”, alleged the four time MLA and a former Minister.

Meanwhile, Moily, a former Karnataka Chief Minister, rejected the perception in some quarters that the Congress-TDP alliance flopped. “You can’t say that. Ultimately, the Congress should win on it’s own strength in Telangana. Our party itself was not so well organised”, Moily added.

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