NEW DELHI: As the Congress appears poised to clinch Telangana in the 2023 assembly elections, the victory narrative is a stark departure from the initial scepticism that shrouded the party’s prospects in the state earlier this year. Despite early challenges, the strategic manoeuvres employed by the Congress have turned the tide in its favour.
Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra initially faced lukewarm responses, prompting the party to reevaluate its approach. Notably, the contrasting reactions in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh compelled the party to reassess its strategies, setting the stage for a recalibration of its political stance in the region.
Amid internal dissent and uncertainty, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) played a pivotal role in shaping the party’s narrative. A clear directive against any alliance with the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in Telangana was issued, and state Congress chief A Revanth Reddy found staunch support from the central leadership, reshaping the internal dynamics of the party.
The momentum gained from the Congress’s resounding victory in Karnataka proved to be a catalyst for change in Telangana. The successful implementation of welfare schemes in Karnataka served as a model for the Telangana Congress, instilling confidence among voters and challenging the dominance of the BRS and its plethora of schemes.
Recognising the importance of unity, the Congress high command rallied behind Revanth, a charismatic leader with robust community support. While internal differences persisted, the party’s leadership managed to foster a sense of cohesion, minimising infighting and presenting a united front to the electorate.
At the forefront of the Congress resurgence is Revanth Reddy, acknowledged by both critics and supporters as a charismatic and powerful orator. His ability to connect with diverse audiences, coupled with his leadership style, played a pivotal role in reshaping the party’s image and invigorating the cadre.
The Congress strategically countered the welfare schemes of the K Chandrashekar Rao government, presenting its alternative model to address the needs of the people. The party skilfully projected an axis between the BRS, BJP, and AIMIM, capitalising on the electorate’s perception of an understanding among these political entities.
Drawing inspiration from the successful Karnataka model, the AICC meticulously micromanaged the Telangana elections. Deploying numerous observers to closely monitor campaigns in each constituency, the central leadership’s hands-on approach resonated with local leaders, fostering a sense of seriousness and commitment.
Unlike previous elections, the Congress strategically avoided an overt focus on the creation of the state during the campaign, recognising a shift in the political landscape. The party’s narrative encompassed historical connections, invoking memories of Indira Gandhi’s victory in 1980 and Sonia Gandhi’s role in the state’s formation.
As the Congress emerges victorious in Telangana, the success story is a testament to the party’s ability to learn from past experiences, adapt to evolving political dynamics, and showcase a united and strategic front. Looking ahead, the party faces the challenge of translating this success into effective governance and addressing the expectations of the electorate.