HYDERABAD: Riding on Telangana pride and its welfare schemes, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi on Tuesday appeared heading towards a landslide victory in Assembly elections.
Beating all expectations of pre-poll surveys and exit polls, the TRS appeared set to win 90 seats in the 119-member Assembly.
The gamble for early polls appeared to have paid rich dividends for the regional party in the first full-fledged elections in India’s youngest state.
The TRS took early leads in a majority of the constituencies for which trends were available as officials counted the hundreds of thousands of votes.
The ruling party candidates were ahead of their rivals in 90 constituencies while the other major contender for power, the Congress-led People’s Front, was leading in just 18 places.
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TRS chief and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao was leading in Gajwel constituency while his son K. T. Rama Rao and nephew Harish Rao were ahead of their rivals in Sircilla and Siddipet constituencies.
People seem to have dismissed the alliance between the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) as the four-party People’s Front was heading for a drubbing.
Many top leaders of Congress were trailing. The TDP was ahead in just two segments while Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and Communist Party of India (CPI) were not leading in any of the constituencies they contested.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) was leading in five segments and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in three.
KCR’s daughter K. Kavitha said there was never doubt that the party would retain power with a huge majority.
Kavitha, a member of the Lok Sabha, said there was no anti-incumbency as the TRS government had done well on all fronts during the last four-and-a-half years.
As many as 73.20 percents of 2.80 crore electorate voted in the elections held in all 119 constituencies on Friday.
The TRS won 63 seats in 2014 while Congress had finished with 21.
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KCR dissolved the Assembly in September, eight months before its term was to end.
Initially focussing on welfare and development schemes, KCR made Telangana pride a key issue when the TDP joined hands with the Congress.
Portraying TDP President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu as an enemy of Telangana’s interests, the TRS chief had urged people not to allow outsiders to decide their future.