Pink wave sweeps Telangana as TRS pulls off landslide victory3 min read . Updated: 12 Dec 2018, 01:18 AM IST
Rao's clever wooing of voters, populist schemes and pro-Telangana sentiment against Naidu behind win, say analysts
Hyderabad: Telangana and its capital city Hyderabad came under a wave of pink on Tuesday, when the K. Chandrashekar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) pulled off a massive victory against the Congress-led grand alliance, winning 85 of the 119 assembly seats. Analysts credited the sweep to Rao’s clever wooing of different sections of society, clubbed with populist schemes and pro-Telangana sentiment against Telugu Desam Party supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu.
As counting of postal ballots concluded on Tuesday, the TRS raced ahead from the very start when trends began to show Rao’s party was leading in several seats. It was evident from early on that Rao was going to sweep the polls, albeit short of the 100 seats he claimed he would win.
The huge margin of win is a major setback to the Congress-led alliance comprising the TDP, Telangana Jana Samithi and Communist Party of India, as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party, which could not even retain the five seats it won in 2014, managing only one. For TRS, the numbers jumped from a simple majority of 63 in 2014 to 85, which included the defeat of many Congress heavyweights.
Even popular Congress leader A. Revanth Reddy could not keep his seat of Kodangal, which he lost by a margin of 20,000 votes to TRS. In Hyderabad, TRS won 14 seats, including Jubilee Hills, which was considered a Congress stronghold. It bagged four of five seats the BJP had won in Hyderabad in 2014.
From the first-of-its-kind ‘Rythu Bandhu’ (investment support of ₹ 8,000 per year for all land-holding farmers) and ‘Rythu Bheema’ schemes ( ₹ 5 lakh insurance for families of farmers due to accidental or and natural death) to ‘Shaadi Mubarak’ ( ₹ 1 lakh for families eligible for financial assistance) for Muslims, KCR started schemes to cater to everyone in Telangana. The programmes also included schemes for backward class communities, who comprise about 53% of the state’s population.
“The TRS party has been with the people from the beginning, even after achieving power. K. Chandrashekar Rao is people oriented. Even the Muslims are happy with the work we have done, and other communities were also supported with skill development programmes, through which the common man was helped," said TRS Lok Sabha member B. Vinod Kumar, who represents Karimnagar. On Tuesday, Rao, his son K.T. Rama Rao and nephew T. Harish Rao, all managed to win with margins of over 100,000 votes. Harish bagged the Siddipet seat for the sixth time with over 130,000 votes.
Analysts also believe the support of the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) may have also pushed a chunk of 12.5% Muslim electorate to vote for TRS. Owaisi had publicly supported KCR in his election campaign.
“The TDP has lost its base miserably and it clearly shows the campaigning by Naidu was counter-productive for the Congress-led grand alliance and made it lose the elections in fact. The neutral voter was aggravated by Naidu and helped the TRS.," said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.
Addressing a press conference, KCR said, “Very soon we might see a new national party emerge, with a consortium of regional parties. We are going to play a very crucial role in national politics and will give a new definition to it. There is a very big confusion today (for choosing between Congress and BJP). The national front is not an alignment of political parties. It failed miserably."
As of 6.38pm, the Election Commission’s results showed the TRS winning 85 seats, Congress 19, AIMIM 7, BJP 1, TDP 2, and All India Forward Bloc 1 . A Congress rebel won a seat as an independent. The TRS received 47% of the total vote share, a 13% rise from 2014.