TRS Sweeps Telangana Assembly Elections, Seals Second Term

The ruling party is set to seal a second term. The opposition alliance led by the Congress is struggling to match its previous tally.

Follow The Wire’s live coverage of the 2018 assembly election results here.

New Delhi: The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is heading for a massive victory in the state. According to Election Commission data, the party has won seven seats and is leading in another 79. TRS has performed well in its bastion of north Telagana and has also improved in the capital, Hyderabad. The Congress is coming in a distant second with a lead in 21 constituencies. The All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen has won one seat and is leading in six.

Trends from all 119 seats point to a big win for the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). The ruling party is currently in the lead in 91 seats, with the Congress-led Prajakutami coming in second with 20. The MIM is also leading in 5 seats and the BJP in 1.

Cartoonist Mika’s take on the Telangana assembly election results.

Two ministers have lost their constituencies, with a third trailing. Senior Congress leader and former home minister K. Jana Reddy has lost the Nagarjuna Sagar constituency. Another minister, J. Krishna Rao, has also lost. Congress candidate Harshvardhan Reddy wrested the Kollapur constituency in the opposition’s favour.

The BJP is looking at a reduction in its tally, leading in just two. The party’s high-pitched campaign does not seem to resonated with the voters. Controversial MLA T. Raja Singh is leading, however.

Another minister, Talasani Srinivas Yadav has won from Sanath Nagar by 30,217 votes.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee leader N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has expressed doubts over the results. He said the EVM’s could’ve been tampered.

TRS MP and KCR’s daughter, K. Kavitha, has refuted claims of EVM tampering.

However, the state’s Congress committee has submitted an official complaint about EVM tampering with the EC.

After two rounds of counting, chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is leading by 6,200 votes in Gajwel. His son K. Taraka Rama Rao and nephew T. Harish Rao, both ministers in the cabinet, are also leading with a comfortable margin.

Minister T. Nageswara Rao is trailing in the Paleru constituency. He was nominated to the legislative council after crossing over to the TRS from the TDP.

The ruling party’s lead has not shown signs of slipping.

According to ANI, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Akbaruddin Owasis has won the Chandrayangutta constituency.

Reports say that senior Congress leader T. Jeevan Reddy, a six-time MLA from Jagtial, has lost the seat to TRS’s Sanjay Kumar.

The ruling party is leading in all 14 seats of the Mahabubnagar constituency.

According to the ECI, the TRS has received 48.2% of the vote and the Congress has received 28.3% of the vote. The BJP has received almost 6.9% of the vote, followed by the MIM with 3%.

Most exit polls predicted that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) will be able to secure a second term. While the ruling party was initially confident of winning almost 100 seats in the 119-member assembly, a strong opposition alliance – Prajakutami or Mahakutami – comprising the Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) forced it to reevaluate its target.

After voting ended on December 7, the election commission admitted that a “mistake” was made, as several voters complained that their names were omitted from the rolls. Reports said that almost 22 lakh names were deleted from the electoral rolls.

The TRS encountered a strong anti-incumbency wave among the people, mostly due to its failure to deliver on promises such as providing better irrigation facilities, two-bedroom houses and tap water connection to every house. Its flagship Rythu Bandhu scheme that provided investment support to farmers was also not well received by landless, marginal and small farmers.

The Congress is seeking a revival by reversing the saffron wave across the country. Among the five states that went to polls, the Congress is the leading opposition party in four – Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, while it was in power in Mizoram. Just a few months ahead of the 2019 general elections, a good performance in these polls will be a shot in the grand old party’s arm.

After Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao dissolved the assembly in September, nine months ahead of its scheduled expiry, the Congress was not expected to be a contender. However, the party’s ability to patch together an effective alliance, coupled with tapping into the anti-incumbency sentiment, has increased its ambitions.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a limited presence in Telangana and is attempting to improve its vote share. The party’s high-pitched campaign saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and UP chief minister Adityanath address rallies in the state.

The Asaduddin Owaisi led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen will look to play the role of “kingmaker” if there is a hung assembly. The party usually wins around eight seats – all of them in its stronghold of Hyderabad’s old city – and is a “friendly party” of the TRS. Though it did not enter into an alliance with the ruling party, it will seek to play an important role in case of a split verdict.

In 2014, the first elections for the newly bifurcated state, the TRS surged passed the majority mark with 63 seats. The Congress won 21 seats and the TDP 15. The MIM was victorious in seven, while the BJP won five. However, by the time the legislative assembly was dissolved, the TRS was able to engineer several defections, bulking up its numbers to 90.