Hyderabad: Leaders from organizations of backward classes (BC) and people from various political parties are considering the formation of a party for the community in Telangana before the assembly elections that are scheduled to be held this year.

Talks are going on and a decision in this regard can be expected this month, a senior legislator who is at the forefront of the development said on the condition of anonymity.

“Talks are on with community leaders from backward classes organizations and different political parties about launching the organization. We have been asked by the Congress to not take such a step and have been promised prominent positions for backward class leaders instead. We are waiting to see the Congress proposal," said the senior legislator and backward classes leader.

The Telangana assembly elections were earlier scheduled to be held in April-May 2019, but were advanced when then chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao recommended dissolving the assembly on 6 September.

The Election Commission also advanced the date for the final revision of electoral rolls (which was in January 2019) to 8 October.

A party for backward classes is likely to have a major impact on the next elections and might even become a deciding factor in the results as backward communities account for about 50% of the population in Telangana.

“In the last elections in 2014, the Telangana sentiment was quite high as the state was bifurcated from Andhra Pradesh. But in the coming elections things will be caste-based. The community feels that it should come together and have a separate political platform," said the senior backward classes leader mentioned above.

One of the most well-known and recognized faces from the backward classes community is Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA R. Krishnaiah, who represents L.B. Nagar in the assembly. His name has been doing rounds as the leader of the new party. 

“I am being asked to float and head a party as there is a very strong base in the 52% population of backward classes. Community leaders are frustrated with the political parties," he said. 

A decision on the matter will be taken soon, said Krishnaiah.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who visited Telangana last month, also held a meeting with Krishnaiah.

The TDP, which is considered to be a party backed solidly by the backward classes in the state, has been weakened considerably since the 2014 assembly elections after 12 of its MLAs defected to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi and one to the main opposition Congress. With this, the backward classes votes in the state are now being seen as an important factor for the victory of the TRS and the Congress.

Political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy, however, was sceptical. “They now feel that it is time that a backward class  (person) gets the chief minister’s post. While Krishnaiah is quite well-known, he never took the political plunge (to lead such a party). Doing that now might help him get a few votes, but they are not big enough to become a force to reckon with. Caste-based politics won’t succeed to a large extent," he opined.