A fortnight after Telangana caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) dissolved the Assembly on September 6, Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Manifesto Committee chairman and former Deputy CM Damodara Rajanarasimha announced that the Congress-led Praja Kutami (People’s Front) would provide one lakh jobs within 100 days after assuming power after the December 7 elections. A Mega DSC to fill 20,000 teacher posts and 80,000 posts in various other departments would be filled by the Congress government, the former Deputy CM said while drafting the ‘people’s manifesto’ taking into account the views of all stakeholders.
The Committee, with around eight sub-committees, took around 20 days to finalise its draft manifesto for the Telangana polls. The contemplation over the people’s front’s seat-sharing process, that spanned over two months, resulted in a Common Minimum Program (CMP), headed by Prof Kodandaram of the Telangana Jana Samithi. Kodandaram is set to act as a Convenor of the proposed statutory body to be Constituted for the program implementation.
While a number of unemployed youth believe that the Congress would be able to roll out notifications for at least 50,000 jobs within 100 days of assuming power, some others feel the one lakh jobs promise is a catalyst to the Congress’s chances in the 2019 general elections.
If the Congress party were to form the government in the State on December 11, the anti-BJP Mahagatbandhan would be in a sound state at the time of general elections, to stress on its narrative of development and change at the national level, given the Praja Kutami fulfills its promises to an extent.
There is a fair chance that Telangana, along with Amarinder Singh’s Punjab would remain one of the only two States governed by the Congress, apart from being a major stake-holder in Karnataka. The Praja Kutami’s one lakh jobs hold utmost importance if the Congress party were to witness a fairy tale turnaround in its Lok Sabha seat tally of 44, the lowest in its 100-year-old history.
On the other side, the BJP would pounce on the Congress’s failure, if the CMP isn’t implemented up to an expected mark in Telangana. Would the youth of Telangana look towards a wayward Rahul Gandhi or a stable Narendra Modi depends much on the Congress’s performance in India’s youngest State. Meanwhile, the Congress party will be in an overwhelmingly precarious situation, if the selection of its Chief Ministerial candidate draws the angst domestically. All in all, Congress’s resurgence in Telangana is poised to pave way for a make or break scenario for Rahul Gandhi on the national front. What if he makes it? What if he can’t? When the counting is dusted and done on December 11, we will know to what extent the idea of a Mahakutami worked to dethrone KCR.
In reality, it’s all or nothing for both the rivals. The Mahakutami will gain in stature if it gathers steam and knocks KCR off his perch. It’ll be a big trial run for Rahul Gandhi, controlled by Chandrababu Naidu. If KCR stays firmly in his saddle, the Congress chief and the TDP supremo will be left licking their wounds, planning for 2019.