In Telangana, KCR is in a very comfortable position. Unlike the other 3 State big elections, TRS has a comfortable lead over the Congress party
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Why is KCR ahead?
1. Economy: Unlike other States, Telangana has not seen a massive deterioration in eceonomic performance. In fact the Telangana Economy has done quite well in the last 5 years. Except for agriculture, the rest of the economy has done quite well. 67% of the population is not dependent on agriculture giving KCR a solid base to the fight the election on.
2. Dependency on agriculture: While KCR has worked very hard to keep farmers on his side including through cash pay outs these year, Farmers constitute less than 40% of Telangana Voters. This is much lower than the other States. Agriculture has suffered during the Modi era owing to two poor monsoons and generally poor MSP increases (except this year). KCR has far lesser risks with farmers than the leaders of the other 3 big States.
3. Opposition as an alternative: Unlike MP and Rajasthan where the Congress has positioned strong rivals against the local leadership, no such opposition exists against KCR. While the opposition in Telangana is led by ex-Airforce Uttam Reddy, he has still not been able to connect with the masses as a strong rival to KCR. Furrther, the opposition has not been able to capitalise fully on a whole host of issues - Dalit 2 acres, 2 Bedroom, even irrigation and most importantly employment
KCR Leads Uttam Reddy Comfortably in the leadership sweepstakes. (Remember, unlike BJP contenders, number of TRS supporters in our predictor base is quite low, so this lead is much more solid), you too can predict by clicking here
KCR also enjoys strong support having led the Telangana agitation and financially the TRS is well equipped to fight this election. An informal alliance with MIM also seals most Muslim votes placing TRS in a comfortable position versus Congress party. Essentially, both the politics and economics are in favour of TRS. What is not in favour of TRS is the performance of MLAs which has been worse than abysmal. The seat level trends (while still early) clearly indicate serious trouble for KCR -
Seat Level Trends
Ramagundam - TRS to Congress, click here, narrow
Malkajgiri - TRS to BJP, click here, narrow
Suryapet - TRS to Congress, click here, narrow
Thungathurthy - TRS to Congress/TDP, click here
Nakrekal - TRS to Congress, click here
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Mahbubabad, click here
Andole, click here
Mahbubnagar, click here
Bhupalpalle, click here
Vemulwada, click here
One notices that seat level anti-incumbency is quite high and the annoucement of candidates very early is perhaps the first tactical mistake made by KCR. Having said that, please remember that the above seats may not be fully lost causes for TRS and in fact more reflective of our predictor profile which is of low participation by TRS supporters. Secondly, it is unclear how the dynamics will play out once the grand alliance is announced by Uttam Reddy. It could give an additional swing of 2% for the alliance or the reverse could happen with numerous dissidents within the Congress party. Having said that even after those announcements it is unlikely that the Congress will be able to bridge the 9% gap that is currently being predicted here
Overall, it looks like game over in Telangana. Next 2-3 weeks will confirm the above or perhaps completely change the game, we shall wait and watch.