Our latest crowd predictions suggest that TRS is likely to win close to 74 out of the 119 seats, just 5 short of the 2/3rds majority. This is 11 seats higher than it won in 2014 (though its final tally was much higher due to defections). Click here to add your predictions
This trend appears to be confirmed by survey results published on Twitter that show TRS with a huge advantage. The debate is whether BJP can do as well as Congress in Telangana. Nothing on the ground appears to support that hypothesis at the moment.
Why is TRS doing well?
1. KCR Leadership advantage
No leader in Telangana comes close to KCR on any metric.This is confirmed on Google Trends, every leader appears as a Blip. One big reason is that at an overall level, the Telangana economy is doing extremely well. Powered by its dynamic services sector (it is the second best performer nationally - Large States), per capita GDP has been galloping and is now ahead of Tamil Nadu. Growth isn't slowing down. The Capital city continues to thrive.
2.Opposition inability to convert Farm dissatisfaction into a movement against TRS
Telangana is a laggard when it comes Industry and Agriculture. Two poor monsoons and the Government's massive investments in irrigation haven't improved agriculture growth. Late last year, KCR realised this and quickly moved into paying for input costs via an elaborate land registration process. This was on top of a loan waiver scheme that was launched in 2014 and completed this year. Essentially, farmers in Telangana while seeing little or no increase in incomes saw reduction in their costs of farming increasing their incomes in a very different way. The Opposition has not been able to corner the Government fully and so far has not been able to make an alternate offer (to increase incomes) except for a massive farm loan waiver.
3. Youth unemployment is high but city voters have more patience
With Industry growth also slowing down and service sector needing fewer people per rupee generated, unemployment amongst educated youth is high. Neither the Congress or the BJP have been able to capitalise on this. The Congress is concentrated in the villages while the BJP which is strong in the cities spent the first 4 years figuring out whether they are to criticise KCR or be quiet as an opposition. Over and above that, those who strongly believed in the Telangana movement are open to giving the Government another opportunity to redeem themselves
In the end, KCR and TRS appear to be in an comfortable position not due to the highest governance standards or voter dissatisfaction but simply because the opposition has not been able to make a case with the voters yet. As things stand today, TRS is headed closer to 2/3rds majority than losing the 2019 assembly election. Looks more like Naveen Patnaik part-2