Home NEWS A Minister who emerged as the face of a city

A Minister who emerged as the face of a city

The BRS went from three seats in the Hyderabad urban region within the limits of ORR in 2014 to scooping up 15 seats, largely due to the stewardship of Mr. Rama Rao.

The BRS went from three seats in the Hyderabad urban region within the limits of ORR in 2014 to scooping up 15 seats, largely due to the stewardship of Mr. Rama Rao.
| Photo Credit: File photo

Residents of the constituencies in and around the city experienced both surprise and shock when the election results were unveiled on December 3. The Congress party emerged as the single largest party with a majority, securing a mandate that would help it govern the State for the next five years.

Throughout the election period, voters remained insulated from the restive mood prevailing in constituencies beyond the Outer Ring Road. They were nestled in the comforting notion that the development within the city would dictate the fate of the entire State come election time.

This is not without reason. Over the past decade, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (formerly Telangana Rashtra Samithi) strove hard to establish itself in the city, with K.T. Rama Rao, the outgoing Minister for Information Technology, and Municipal Administration, devoting his energies to Hyderabad and its surroundings.

During the 2014 elections, the party managed to win only three seats in the urban region within the limits of ORR — in Malkajgiri, Patancheru and Secunderabad constituencies, respectively. All the remaining constituencies were won either by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which gained ground in the peripheral areas where a large number of voters had roots in Andhra Pradesh, or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which built for itself a considerable support base riding the wave of the Telangana movement.

Eventually, several TDP legislators from the city defected to BRS, leaving their voters disillusioned with the belief that no matter whom they voted for, defections to the ruling party would be inevitable.

In 2018, the voting pattern underwent a significant change, with BRS winning 15 seats in the same region within ORR. Intriguingly, most of the contestants were the same individuals who had contested on other party tickets in 2014.

Various infrastructure development activities initiated in the city since 2015-16, such as the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP), road widening and junction development projects, started yielding results after 2018 elections under the stewardship of Mr. Rama Rao who had evolved as both a politician and an administrator over time.

The Comprehensive Road Maintenance Programme, a concept promoted by Mr. Rama Rao, has ensured that major thoroughfares are now free of potholes and bad patches, which were once a persistent issue in the city.

As IT Minister, Mr. Rama Rao tirelessly drew investments into the city, and as MA & UD Minister, he propelled the developmental agenda with vigour, thus solidifying himself as the face of the city by the 2023 elections.

The absence of power cuts and the implementation of a free drinking water supply scheme to the areas within the ORR were other factors that resonated positively with voters.

The realty sector received a significant boost through the SRDP and Haritha Haaram projects, particularly concentrated in the western part of the city. This initiative endeared him to IT professionals. At the same time, the optical splendour around the State Secretariat, featuring the Martyrs’ Memorial and the colossal Ambedkar Statue, heightened the party’s popularity among other residents

Rising real estate prices have become the yardstick for development in public consciousness, overshadowing other issues.

This was unmistakably evident in the recently concluded elections, when all constituencies, except those contested by the MIM, were bagged by the BRS. Unlike previous instances where voter preference for a party might have stemmed from fear or despair, this time it was a clear acknowledgment of the work that promoted ‘Brand Hyderabad’ for investors.

Source link