Riding on the Telangana sentiment, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) swept the assembly by-elections in the region, winning five seats and leading in six other constituencies on Friday. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is ahead in the remaining one seat.
Proving that the Telangana sentiment is still strong, TRS retained Siddipet, Sirpur, Dharmapuri and Chennur seats with huge majority and wrested Vemulawada seat from Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
TRS is heading for a comfortable win in the six constituencies while BJP's Lakshminarayana was ahead of state Congress chief D. Srinivas in Nizamabad Urban segment.
TRS leader T. Harish Rao has set a record by retaining Siddipet seat with a margin of 95,858 votes, breaking the record of former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who was re-elected from Pulivendula constituency in Kadapa district last year with a margin of 68,681.
The results from seven constituencies, where electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used, are likely to be announced before noon while it may take some more time in the remaining five constituencies where ballot papers were used.
The Election Commission said 66.67 percent of 23.60 lakh voters in the 12 constituencies spread over five districts cast their votes in the elections held on Tuesday.
The by-polls were necessitated by the resignation of all 10 legislators of the TRS and one each of the BJP and the TDP on the issue of a separate Telangana state early this year.
As many as 435 candidates are in the fray for the by-elections, seen as a referendum on the issue of a separate Telangana.