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The Big Verdict with HT: Reddy Set Go, Modi Magic, North-South Narrative, and more...

Dec 03, 2023 06:18 PM IST

On a micro-level, there have been several talking points about the election results so far:

Note: The following article was first published as a newsletter.

Hyderabad: Congress Telangana President A Revanth Reddy greets party workers and supporters celebrating the party's lead during counting of votes for Telangana Assembly elections, in Hyderabad, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. (Source: PTI)(PTI)
Hyderabad: Congress Telangana President A Revanth Reddy greets party workers and supporters celebrating the party's lead during counting of votes for Telangana Assembly elections, in Hyderabad, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. (Source: PTI)(PTI)

It’s always risky to call elections before the final vote is counted but by this time of the day, one can usually get a broad picture of how things are going. BJP appears to be comfortably set – cigar out, armchair drawn – in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan, while Congress looks set to snatch Telangana.

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On a micro-level, there have been several talking points about the election results so far:

Reddy Set Go

One of the man-of-the-matches of the day so far has been Revanth Reddy, who is widely believed to be the next CM of Telangana, who was anointed CM by Wikipedia as well.

Jokes apart, the situation in Kamareddy is particularly interesting where there’s a three-way fight. While all eyes were on CM KCR's tussle with CM-in-waiting INC's Revanth Reddy, BJP's KV Ramana Reddy has emerged as a dark horse and is, at the time of writing, is ahead of both heavyweights (at the time of writing).

KV Ramana Reddy is beating KCR and Revanth Reddy in Kamareddy
KV Ramana Reddy is beating KCR and Revanth Reddy in Kamareddy

Also Read: KTR throws in the towel

The Strategist

One of the unsung heroes of this election is Sunil Kanugolu, a Congress poll strategist who turned down KCR to become Rahul Gandhi’s new troubleshooter. Kaunugolu got a free hand in Telangana to implement his strategies, a freedom not afforded to him in Rajasthan and MP.

Read: Who is Sunil Kanugulo?

Mama Mia

There was a time when political analysts had written off Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s career but today shows the CM isn’t ready to call it a day. At the time of writing, BJP in Madhya Pradesh is currently leading in 165 seats and looks set to form the government in Madhya Pradesh.

As HT's Shruti Tomar writes it was a combination of a Modi-centric campaign, welfare schemes like Ladli Behna and Kisan Samman Nidhi, and Congress focussing on social media and failed to convey its manifesto promises to the people.

Also Read: 5 factors that helped BJP trounce Cong in Madhya Pradesh

The South vs North Narrative

For some time, it has appeared that the erstwhile pan-Indian grand nationalist party, Congress, has set its eyes on the South for its renaissance. They did win Karnataka and now look set to win Telangana as well, which means they are in power in two of the five states. It seems that prominent members want to drive the point home.

After the election, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s son Priyank Kharge tweeted: “The South.”

Meanwhile, Congress data chief Praveen Chakrvarthy added: “The South - North boundary line is getting thicker & clearer!” It will be interesting to see how Congress approaches the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

Brand Modi holds strong

One of the other questions that was being asked is whether Brand Modi is still going strong in Indian politics. Ahead of 2024, the answer is resounding Yes.

It would appear Modi magic – when not generating Instagram-breaking hash tags – still holds sway on the ground. The Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh campaigns were both fought without CM candidates, and shows that Modi is still very much of a puller of votes in 2023 and will likely continue to do so in the near future.

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