Telangana Assembly Dissolution & Prospects of #Early General Elections
With #Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao going in for dissolution of the State Assembly, nine months ahead of completion of its tenure, India is poised to have Assembly elections in five states during the winter. Of-course, the Election Commission of India will take the final decision on whether elections in Telangana would be held along with the four states already scheduled to have Assembly elections or a little bit later. A team of the Election Commission would be visiting Telangana shortly to decide whether elections can be held there simultaneously with the other four states going to the polls, which are Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh and Mizoram.
Why #TRS favours early elections
Chandrasekhar Rao’s bid to go in for early elections appears to be motivated by the need to surprise the opposition in the state, mainly the Congress, and also to ensure that state issues do not get submerged in national issues if the Assembly elections are held along with the Lok Sabha elections in the normal course in April–May next year. The Congress is at present on a weak wicket in Telangana. Early elections will not give the party the opportunity to regroup and strengthen its position.
There are of course reports that the Congress and Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, which is in a bad shape in Telangana because of the walkover of most of its legislators to the TRS, may stitch an alliance or at least arrive upon an understanding to oppose the TRS and Chandrasekhar Rao.
Another factor which appears to have driven Chandrasekhar Rao to take the decision on dissolution of the Telangana Assembly appears to be the prospect of impressive Congress victories in the four states scheduled to have winter Assembly polls. The fear appears to be that this will change the mood in the country and motivate the Congress to put up a tough fight in Telangana.
The TRS Chief has said that he is going in for early elections as the opposition was stalling development projects and denting what he called the morale of the administration with ‘unfounded’ allegations of large scale corruption. He also claimed that fresh elections will curb what he called political fragility in Telangana.
All out attack by TRS on Congress
Chandrasekhar Rao also used the occasion of the announcement of dissolution of the Telangana Assembly to mount an all out attack on the Congress and its President Rahul Gandhi. He called the Congress “number one enemy of Telangana” and described Rahul Gandhi as a #“buffoon” for hugging Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha recently.
The Congress of course has not kept quiet on the attack by the TRS Chief. State Congress leaders said the ruling TRS was afraid of the disgruntled youth in the state and wanted to hold the Assembly elections before the revision of electoral rolls in December which would have added 13 lakh young voters. Charging the ruling party in the state with corruption, they said, “the biggest loot in India has happened in Telangana in the last four and a half years. It is KCR’s family verses Telangana.”
Hard core #political factors at play
It is clear from the developments that hard core political factors have led Chandrasekhar Rao to go in for dissolution of the state Assembly and consequent early elections. He has taken the step because he thinks that his party, the TRS, stands a better chance of coming back to power if elections are held early.
The question is whether Prime Minister #Narendra Modi will take a similar hard political decision and go in for dissolution of the Lok Sabha and early elections to co-incide with the winter polls in five states. This will also help in achieving the objective of simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections to a limited extent, which the BJP leadership has been pushing hard during the last four years or more.
Will India have early Parliament elections
The BJP top leadership may not admit it but the possibility of the Congress winning in one or more of the three Hindi heartland states going to have Assembly elections in the winter cannot be ruled out. The BJP would not like to go into the Lok Sabha polls after facing reverses in the Assembly elections.
The move to hold early Lok Sabha elections may be camouflaged by going in for limited progress towards the objective of holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections.
Curtailment or extension of the tenure of state Assemblies to hold simultaneous elections with the Lok Sabha polls requires Constitution amendments, which the Narendra Modi Government may find it difficult to bring about. That is because there is no consensus among political parties so far on the simultaneous poll issue. But if Governments of certain states decide upon early dissolution of the Assemblies, the objective can be achieved to a certain extent. Similarly if the Narendra Modi Government decides upon early dissolution of the Lok Sabha to hold simultaneous polls with elections due in certain state Assemblies, there is nothing to stop the Government from doing that.
Narendra Modi to take #final decision
The question whether India will have a mini general election in the winter months depend solely on the reading of the political situation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.