Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao seems to have proved that his popularity is unbeatable in the newest Indian state. Having gained an assailable lead over the opponents, TRS has almost stamped its comeback, with KCR set to become the chief minister again. The Telangana verdict is very much with KCR as his party is leading decisively in the 119-seat Assembly, with his political gamble to dissolve Assembly eight months ahead of schedule paying off.
According to latest vote count, TRS is leading in 85 seats, with the Congress-TDP alliance much behind at 23 seats.
Soon after the counting for the Assembly Elections 2018 results began at 8 am, trends showed it was going to be a TRS clean sweep back to power.
While the final results are still awaited, three confirmed results have gone to TRS candidates KCR, M Sanjay Kumar and Sunke Ravishankar, who have won from Gajwel, Jagtial and Choppadandi, respectively. Another confirmed seat as gone to AIMIM’s Akbaruddin Owaisi whio contested from Chandrayanagutta.
The AIMIM, led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, is leading in a few more seats. AIMIM is considered a “friendly party” to the ruling TRS, with Owaisi having openly advocated a non-BJP and non-Congress front.
In September 2018, KCR had dissolved the Assembly eight months ahead of schedule. The party had in the first Telangana elections won 63 of the 119 seats, though its strength rose to 90 later after TDP and Congress leaders defected ahead of the elections.
“The people reposed faith in the leadership of our chief minister and they did not believe in the disinformation campaign of the opposition,” Rao’s nephew and minister T Harish Rao told reporters.
Grateful, indebted & Humbled 🙏🙏
Thanks Telangana for keeping the faith in KCR Garu & giving us another opportunity to serve you 😊 pic.twitter.com/nSwnaLz8z2
— KTR (@KTRTRS) December 11, 2018
Both T Harish Rao and KCR’s son K T Rama Rao are comfortably winning their respective seats of Siddipet and Sircilla. In addition to anti-incumbency, the Raos were also fighting allegations of “family rule”, though it seems now the voters have ignored both.
There were celebrations across capital city Hyderabad and the state as TRS supporters could be seen dancing to drum-beats, bursting firecrackers and distributing sweets.
Meanwhile, senior TDP leader Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy said the factors leading to the Telangana verdict against the Congress-led alliance needed to be analysed.
“We were expecting to get more seats. The results are not to our expectations. we have to analyse and introspect where it went wrong, and we have to work together,” Reddy told PTI, adding people’s verdict should be respected.
The Congress, however, said it suspected “manipulation” of the Electronic Voting Machines, and demanded that all votes be counted using VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail).
“Going by the distorted trends, there is a strong suspicion that EVM machines have been manipulated. We demand that 100 percent counting of VVPAT must be taken up in all constituencies. All Congress candidates should submit letters to their returning officers demanding counting of VVPAT paper trails,” Telangana Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy said in a statement.
Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy, general secretary of the CPI that is also part of the alliance, said: “Huge distribution of money, particulary on the last day (before the election)…purchasing the votes..this must have resulted in this victory for TRS.”
Yet another party that had joined the pre-poll alliance forged by the Congress was Telangana Jana Samiti.
The BJP, meanwhile, is leading in only two seats till last reports came in. The party had five members in the dissolved assembly.