In politics, it is said, there are no murders but only suicides. The Congress has only itself to blame for its existential crisis in Telangana. The opposition party must look within, instead of seeking excuses outside, and candidly introspect the reasons for the pathetic state that it now finds itself in.

While Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, fresh from the recent resounding public mandate for a second term, kicked off the Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s campaign for Lok Sabha elections on a high note, the Congress camp presents a contrasting picture of gloom, desperation and despondency.

The party is finding it increasingly difficult to keep its flock together in the face of steady desertions. If it was voters who comprehensively rejected the party’s negative agenda in the December Assembly elections, it is now the turn of its own legislators to leave the sinking ship.

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There is a growing realisation among the elected representatives from the Congress that their party stood thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the people because of its obstructionist agenda. Besides, the opposition camp is a divided house with barely any scope for redemption.

With nine of 19 Congress MLAs either joining the TRS or announcing their intention to that effect and some more waiting in the wings to switch loyalty, it faces the prospect of losing the status of opposition party in the Assembly. The party needs at least 12 MLAs to retain the Leader of Opposition status.

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If the strength of the Congress comes down to six, it will no more be the main opposition party as its number would be less than the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), which has seven MLAs. The State Legislative Council has already become Congress-mukt.

More than the number game, what comes out clearly from the Congress’ predicament is that the parties that whip up a negative agenda and put obstacles in the path of development will lose their relevance. The people of Telangana clearly want continuity in development under able leadership with a clear vision and missionary zeal.

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There are lessons to be drawn from the fate that befell the Telugu Desam Party for trying to undermine the Telangana pride and obstruct development projects. On the other hand, the BJP, a fringe player at best, has been further weakened following the failure of the NDA government to fulfil the promises made at the time of bifurcation.

The Lok Sabha polls will provide an opportunity for the voters of India’s youngest State to strengthen the federal spirit with their collective expression of regional aspirations. Post-elections, the regional parties are set to play a greater role in the formation of the Central government and in shaping its agenda. #KhabarLive

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