With Telangana heading for polls towards the end of the year, multiple lists of BRS candidates of some constituencies are circulating on social media. This is sending jitters to incumbent MLAs and hopefuls who are worried about the effect such posts have on the public.
The leaders say the problem is that people check only the candidates in their own constituency and nearby constituencies. Even if there is no chance for a particular candidate these WhatsApp messages give them unnecessary hype.
The BRS has not yet released the list of candidates and in fact, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has said many times that tickets will be given to all sitting MLAs except a few who are facing anti-incumbency.
But the flow of lists has started and sitting BRS MLAs fear the negative impact it can create
“I have come across at least three lists in the recent past and two of them have replaced my name with someone else’s. These lists sometimes have candidates for 50, 18 or all the 119 constituencies. There is always a debate on who should be the MLA in a constituency. But people who know KCR know that he will pick candidates based on the public pulse unless there is another strategy,” said a BRS legislator.
BRS Social Media Convenor Krishank Manne put out a tweet saying, “The BRS’ list of candidates has not been released on WhatsApp. This is a grand scheme of the BJP which is releasing lists on WhatsApp and also telecasting them on pro-BJP TV channels. The names announced by KCR will be final (sic).”
One of the lists gives the names of candidates who will be replaced. This came into circulation after KCR gave a warning to MLAs who are demanding a cut in Dalit Bandhu money from beneficiaries that they would not get party tickets.
“It is not the opposition that releases lists always. Sometimes, there will be many hopefuls in many constituencies who might resort to such tactics. However, no amount of fake lists can change ground realities. There are hopefuls who have increased their efforts to get the BRS ticket,” sources said.
The BRS leadership is not keen on addressing this issue. A BRS legislator said, “Normally the party doesn’t react to such lists so early or even during elections. It actually helps the party as those who need to get their act straight will do so. From a candidate’s perspective, it can create tense moments by providing hype to weak candidates. But proximity to the leadership and groundwork will be the ultimate decider.”