- Congress-led national government agreed to statehood for Telangana
- But the state spurned Congress in 2014, chose K Chandrasekhar Rao
- Rahul Gandhi holds road-show in Hyderabad to build support
Over the last few years, Telangana is one of the many states that has spurned the party though the decision to carve it out of Andhra Pradesh as India's 29th state was taken when the previous Congress-led government was in power at the Centre and in the state.
But it was K Chandrasekhar Rao or KCR, the regional heavyweight, who led the campaign, which included a hunger strike in 2009, who was unreservedly accorded the credit for Telangana's statehood by its people when the state held its first election in 2014.
The Congress was a poor runner-up, winning just 21 seats as compared to KCR's 63 (of a total of 119).
Today's visit by Mr Gandhi, the No 2 in the Congress, is aimed at helping his party appeal to voters at a time when KCR has taken a series of populist decisions as Chief Minister including adding a new quota for Muslims for government jobs and colleges.
Mr Gandhi accused KCR of failing to protect farmers - Telangana has accumulated a startling rate of farmer suicides caused by drought and rural distress.
His visit comes after BJP chief Amit Shah arrived in Hyderabad late last month and spent three days in Telangana as part of his mission to expand his party's footprint in a region where it has been traditionally weak. Mr Shah has told BJP workers that they should work to establish the party quickly as the main opposition because the Congress has failed to take that space effectively, in part because of weak local leadership. The BJP itself will be banking on the famous Modi magic that has helped it win or significantly improve its standing in states where it was not a mainstream player.
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