Telangana: TRS juggernaut heading for landslide victory

Hyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) will form its second successive government in Telangana where it has won a simple majority and is heading for a landslide with its candidates clinching 60 seats and leading in 27 others, in a resounding endorsement of its chief K Chandrasekhar Rao’s popularity.

Rao himself won by a margin of over 51,000 votes from his Gajwel seat, trouncing V Pratap Reddy of the Congress.

Rao’s son K T Rama Rao and nephew T Harish Rao, both ministers in his caretaker government, also won.

The Congress has clinched 13 seats so far and is leading in six. Its ally, the TDP, is leading in two seats.

Rao had dissolved the Assembly September, eight months ahead of schedule, in a political gamble that paid off handsomely, as the party is expected to improve on its previous strength of 63 in the 119-seat Assembly.

However, TRS’s strength had risen to 82 after defections from the TDP and Congress. “The people reposed faith in the leadership of our Chief Minister and they did not believe in the disinformation campaign of the Opposition,” said T Harish Rao, a Minister and nephew of Chandrasekhar Rao who won the Siddipet seat by a staggering 1,18,499 votes.

Though only 60 seats are required for a simple majority, the TRS looks set to end up with close to three-fourths seats in its kitty. Ministers in the caretaker government, Tummala Nageswar Rao, Jupally Krishna Rao, P Mahender Reddy, Telangana Congress working president Revanth Reddy, senior Congress leader Jana Reddy and state BJP president K Laxman are among those trailing.

The AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi, a party friendly to the TRS, won the Bahadurpura seat where its candidate Mohammed Moazam Khan was declared elected. AIMIM candidates are leading in four other places, including Chandrayangutta, where Asaduddin’s younger brother Akbaruddin has established an unassailable lead of over 67,000 votes. Akbaruddin is seeking a 5th straight term from the seat.

The rolling TRS juggernaut demolished all hopes the BJP had of making inroads into Telangana. Ploughing a lonely furrow after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu walked out of the NDA a few months ago, BJP candidates have managed to stay ahead of their rivals in only two seats of Karwan and Goshamahal.

Celebrations erupted in TRS offices throughout the State as well as in the Telangana Bhavan, the party headquarters in Hyderabad. Dancing to drum beats, TRS workers burst firecrackers and distributed sweets.