Telangana elections exit polls show KCR’s early poll gamble may pay off
Telangana assembly elections 2018: Telangana was supposed to hold its assembly elections in May 2019 along with the Lok Sabha elections. However, caretaker chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), who heads the TRS, dissolved the assembly in September 2018, forcing an early election to be held in the state.Updated: Dec 07, 2018 23:40 IST
If exit polls are anything to go by, it seems Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao’s gamble of holding early elections has paid off.
The Times Now-CNX poll predicts re-election for the TRS, giving it 66 of the state’s 119 seats. A party can form government with 60 seats. The Republic Jan Ki Baat too shows a KCR win, with a range of 52 to 65 seats and 38 to 52 to the Congress, which contested along with regional allies including the Telugu Desam Party led by Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
The Axis My India - India Today and Aaj Takpoll puts TRS way ahead with 79-91 seats and the Congress trails at 21-33 seats in the first-ever polls in India’s youngest state
Telangana was supposed to hold its assembly elections in May 2019 along with the Lok Sabha elections. However, caretaker chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), who heads the TRS, dissolved the assembly in September 2018, forcing an early election to be held in the state.
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The major political parties that are contesting the elections in the state are the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the KCR-led Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Congress, Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), Communist Praty of India (CPI), and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by Asaduddin Owaisi.
The Congress is contesting in a grand alliance called the ‘Praja Kutami’ along with the TDP, TJS and CPI. The alliance is led by the Congress and was formed primarily to defeat the TRS in the state. The BJP is contesting the election alone.
In the 2014 elections, held in an undivided Andhra Pradesh, the TDP had contested the elections in alliance with the BJP. However, this time, the TDP has decided to go with the Congress and be a part of the Congress-led Grand alliance.
In what has been a bitter battle of words during the election campaigning leaders from all parties have levelled allegations of corruption against each other and have accused the TRS of not doing anything. KCR, however, is confident of winning the elections, one of the reasons why he called an early election.
For the BJP, the state holds importance since it is looking to expand its footstep into the state.
However, the Congress-led Grand Alliance appears to have an electoral advantage if one goes by sheer numbers. As against TRS’s 34 per cent vote share in 2014, the Congress and the TDP together have 38 per cent vote share in the state. The TJS and CPI votes may also skew the playing field against the TRS.
K Chandrashekar Rao has however, criticised the TDP for being a part of the Grand Alliance and had, during an election rally, cautioned the people to be wary of ‘Andhra rulers’.
“We have achieved separate statehood for Telangana and liberated it from Andhra rulers after a prolonged fight for over a decade. Should we hand over our precious Telangana back to the Andhra party?” KCR had said at Kosgi town in Kodangal assembly constituency while referring to Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, whose TDP is part of Maha Kootami (grand alliance).
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First Published: Dec 07, 2018 17:46 IST