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No Smooth Sail for KCR as Number Logic Could Swing Telangana Verdict in Favour of Congress-TDP

Going by the 2014 calculation, the Congress-TDP alliance could eat up TRS vote share in at least 16 constituencies and may also be able to maintain its hold on the 37 seats it had won in 2014.

Rishika Sadam | News18.com

Updated:December 10, 2018, 10:52 AM IST
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No Smooth Sail for KCR as Number Logic Could Swing Telangana Verdict in Favour of Congress-TDP
A combination photo of Rahul Gandhi, Chandrashekar Rao and Chandrababu Naidu
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Hyderabad: All eyes are set on the outcome of the closely fought election battle in Telangana, which went to polls for the first time on December 7 after being officially carved out in June four years ago.

With multiple exit polls predicting a mixed array of results, the big question is: did the people choose a clear mandate?

The three-way battle in the state was fiercely fought between the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) led by caretaker chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), Prajakutami — the Congress-TDP alliance and the BJP, which is desperately trying to gain a foothold in the state.

Most exit polls have predicted that KCR, who is fighting for a second chance, will be able to retain the reins of power. In 2014, the sentiment attached to the Telangana agitation was the key reason for TRS to come out with a convenient majority. The party, at that time, had won 63 seats, slightly crossing the magic number 60.

On the other hand, the Congress and TDP had won 21 and 15 seats respectively. Their vote share was 25 and 15 percent, which when combined brings it to 40 percent, trumping the 34 percent vote share of the TRS.

So even though the poll surveys are pointing at a TRS victory, political analysts insist that there is a high chance of arithmetic logic playing a larger role in the mandate decision. It certainly does not seem to be a smooth ride for KCR due to the anti-incumbency factor. The party has been banking on the various welfare schemes for saving grace, while at the same time claiming that the seats number would touch a 100 this time.

The Prajakutami alliance between Rahul Gandhi and Chandrababu Naidu who have both been campaigning aggressively in the state, has 98 Congress candidates, 13 from TDP, 8 from TJS and 3 from CPI. Bitter rivals since the 80s, Congress and TDP have, for the first time, joined hands to beat KCR.

Going by the 2014 calculation, this alliance could eat up the vote share of the ruling party in at least 16 constituencies and may also be able to maintain its hold on the 37 seats it had won in 2014. But this would be possible only if there is a smooth vote transfer.

There still remains a lot of sentiment around the Telangana agitation. And with Naidu coming into the fray, the fight is now again about Telangana vs Andhra Pradesh.

In fact, both KCR and his son K. T. Rama Rao (KTR) have been saying that Naidu, who opposed the Telangana movement, is trying to gain back his control over the state with the “proxy alliance”.

The father-son duo has been using the same pitch to trump the anti-incumbency. If are able to keep their vote bank intact, it would mean that this move of theirs has worked

The third player BJP has managed to get about 5 seats the last time. The party was in an alliance with TDP in 2014. Now, without a regional party support, the former has gone all out in the hope of gaining foothold.

The party’s state president Dr K Lakshman had told News18 that the BJP would play a crucial kingmaker this time and is open to working with the ruling party if they ditch their relationship with Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM.

Another party to watch out for is AIMIM, which contested in seven seats the last time and managed to bag all of them. This time it is contesting eight seats and hoping for a similar result.

But what’s important is that MIM shares a cordial relationship with the ruling party. There’s a lot of speculation that this friendship would turn into an alliance if necessary, giving an edge to the TRS.

The polling percentage in 2018 was 72.4 percent, higher than the 69.5 percent four years ago.

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| Edited by: Divya Kapoor
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