HYDERABAD: While the Assembly polls are slated for December 2023, BRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is learnt to have decided to declare candidates three months in advance, in the first week of September, in order to score a ‘hat-trick win’.
According to sources, the CM adopted the same strategy in the 2018 Assembly elections, which worked because the candidates began campaigning well in advance and visited all the constituencies multiple times, while the Opposition parties failed to even declare their nominees until the deadline to file nominations on November 19.
While the Opposition candidates had only two weeks to campaign, the ruling party candidates had campaigned for over three months.
For the first time, the BRS is likely to leave a few seats in Khammam and Nalgonda districts for the CPI and CPM. Since the 2014 elections, the TRS has been contesting every election on its own. At Munugode recently, it sought the support of the Left parties and won the byelection.
Continuing the friendship, Rao reportedly wants to give the Left parties a few seats in Khammam and Nalgonda districts, where they have a strong presence.
The last time, the CM had caused a stir when he declared 105 candidates for the 119 constituencies on September 6, 2018, the same day he dissolved the Assembly nine months before its term was supposed to end in June 2019. The remaining 14 candidates were announced within a week.
Elections were held on December 7, 2018. The party won 88 seats out of 119, compared to 63 in 2014.
Although the CM has stated that all the MLAs will be given tickets, insiders believe that nearly 50 candidates may be replaced based on survey reports that show anti-incumbency. As denial of tickets may spark dissidence, the CM wants to use the three months before elections to placate disgruntled leaders by promising them nominated posts as Rajya Sabha members, MLCs, corporation chairpersons, and so on after the BRS retains power for a third term.