Telangana, India’s youngest state, goes to polls next week following a tight contest. Data shows the result may depend on just a 2 percent vote swing. The Congress and Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party have grouped up to take on Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who is seeking a second term.
KCR, as Mr. Rao is commonly known, had dissolved the state assembly eight months ahead of time to advance the elections. The BJP, which is trying to enlarge its footprint in the state, has hinted it was because of low confidence. The Chief Minister, they said, is not sure about creating his pitch in the middle of a Congress-BJP battle next year.
The outcome will have ramifications for next year’s national elections. A victory for the alliance will place Mr. Naidu – a self-styled facilitator of a united opposition – at the forefront of the opposition politicians. But in Telangana, he has shown himself as ready to take a backseat, getting the majority of seats to Congress.
Mr. Rao has pitched for a Third Front without the BJP or the Congress – a stance he is sticking to in the state elections.
A look at the Vidhan Sabha vs Lok Sabha election reveals how the state voted in simultaneous elections in 2014. Data shows independents and smaller parties tend to do good in assembly elections.