A few days ago, Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrasekhara Rao said that the Telugu Desam Party would be wiped out in both Telangana and Seemandhra. Many within the TDP too doubted if its chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu's slogan of equal justice for the two regions would carry weight, especially in Telangana.
But as the trends became clear on Friday, the TDP emerged as the only party to have performed well on both sides of the divide.
As of now, TDP is leading or has won in 105 seats in Seemandhra that has a total of 175 assembly seats. This means Naidu would be the first chief minister of the bifurcation-induced state. YSR Congress Party is leading in 66 assembly seats.
HT had reported on March 10 – when the surveys were projecting Jaganmohan Reddy as the hero in Seemandhra – that Naidu was gaining fast on Jagan to become the first choice for rebuilding the new state that has been feeling betrayed by the UPA government.
On April 3, HT also reported how Jagan had slipped from pole position – TDP's campaign of his corruption cases, bail seen as a result of siding with the Congress, allegations of supporting division, leaders deserting his party – and how he was struggling to regain momentum.
One major factor that resulted in TDP's victory is the high voting percentage (79) in Seemandhra which means the educated, upper middle class people who favour Naidu came out in large numbers to vote.
Jagan's core base consists of the poor, dalits, Reddys and Christians. But the TDP managed to consolidate the vote of all other sections prominently the BCs, Kammas, Kapus.
And the coming together of Naidu, BJP's Narendra Modi and filmstar Pawan Kalyan at the last moment majorly boosted the party's prospects. Most surprisingly, TDP did well in Telangana to the extent of becoming the main opposition, along with the BJP, in the new state's assembly.
The TRS has won or is leading in 63 seats, passing the majority mark in the 119 seat assembly and KCR is the most likely choice for the top post. Congress, which went public claiming to have given the statehood, is leading in just 20 seats while the TDP-BJP combine is ahead in 24 seats.