While the country is looking at Maharashtra and Haryana, Telangana will look at Huzurnagar because it may well hold the key to how long the 19-day-long RTC strike in the state prolongs. A TRS victory by a margin greater than 7000 votes (that was Uttam Kumar Reddy’s victory margin in December 2018 assembly elections) would deflate the opposition and it would not be in a position to lend decibel support to the 48000 RTC employees who have been shown the door. Perhaps it would not find political reason to do so either. This is because Huzurnagar has been a Congress citadel since 2009 and the TRS has never won this seat.
But if Padmavathi Reddy manages to keep Huzurnagar in the Congress fold, it would give a fresh momentum to the RTC strike as the verdict will be seen as a comment on the manner in which K Chandrasekhar Rao has handled the issue.
But the issue also goes beyond Huzurnagar. The government’s suspicion is that there is a deep conspiracy at play and that the BJP and Congress have scripted this strike, with an eye on Huzurnagar and beyond.
The TRS feels that the BJP that has been flexing its muscles ever since it won four Lok Sabha seats in May 2019, sees Telangana as a low-hanging fruit in 2023 when the next round of elections will be held and therefore wants to keep building the pressure on KCR. With a more friendly Governor in Hyderabad Raj Bhavan, it wants to create an impression that KCR is not responsive to the needs and concerns of the people of Telangana.
With union leader Ashwathama Reddy giving rather politically-loaded comments, the other angle being probed is whether there is a Reddy community consolidation taking place behind the RTC strike.