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The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) looked set to form its second successive government in Telangana with a thumping majority after taking an unassailable lead in 90 seats, according to the latest vote count, a clear vindication of party chief K Chandrasekhar Rao’s popularity. Celebrations erupted in TRS offices throughout the state as well as in the Telangana Bhavan, the party headquarters in Hyderabad. TRS activists dancing to drum-beats, burst firecrackers and distributed sweets.

Congress candidates were leading in 16 seats and its ally TDP in two, confirming that their alliance was facing an expected rout in the face of the TRS juggernaut, which also trampled BJP, which was ahead in only two seats. The party had five members in the dissolved assembly. Congress and TDP had 18 and three seats in the outgoing house.

Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi party swept back to power with almost three-fourths majority. Rao had dissolved the Assembly in September, eight months ahead of schedule, in a political gamble that paid off handsomely, as the party is expected to improve on its previous strength of 63 in the 119-seat Assembly. However, TRS strength had risen to 90 after defections from TDP and Congress before the elections.

Telangana became the 29th state of India comprising 10 districts with plenty of water and some other natural resources in a backward region lacking development that was at the heart of the separate state demand. As and when the state formed, the jewel in the crown would always be the city of Hyderabad, which may for some time, at least 10 years to start with, be the joint capital for the rest of Andhra. With a population of over 3.5 crore, the new state comprising mostly the areas of the princely Nizam state will have 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 assembly seats.

Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao, popularly known as KCR, was the founder President of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) which was in the forefront of the movement for Statehood to Telangana. In November 2009, he undertook fast unto death demanding the creation of Telangana State. Consequently, the Union Home Minister on 9 December 2009 made a statement saying that the process of formation of Telangana has been initiated.

After a prolonged agitation, the Union government finally granted the Statehood to Telangana region and passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation, Bill 2013 in both the Houses of Parliament in February 2014 effecting the creation of Telangana State. After leading the Telangana movement to its desired end, Rao became the first Chief Minister of the State.

In 2014 general elections, Telangana Rashtra Samithi emerged victorious in 63 of the 119 Assembly seats thereby securing the required number of legislators for forming the government along with highest vote share among political parties. KCR was sworn in as the first Chief Minister of Telangana.

The political rivalry between Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party and KCR’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) persisted after the bifurcation. The TDP saw an opportunity to remain politically relevant in Telangana too, as 25% of Hyderabad’s population is from Andhra. In the 2014 assembly poll, Naidu’s TDP managed 15 seats in the state, with nine coming from Hyderabad. The TRS, which eventually formed the government, managed just three out of 24 seats in Hyderabad. The politics changed when TRS managed an overwhelming majority in the 2016 Hyderabad local body elections and 13 (out of 15) TDP members of the legislative assembly defected to the TRS. Today, the TRS is informally aligned to the BJP, which is in a formal alliance with TDP in Andhra Pradesh. KCR, who initially took an anti-Narendra Modi stance, has gradually drifted towards the saffron party.

The Congress declared that the 2019 elections would be fought between KCR’s (Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao) family and people of Telangana, given the family's autocratic and undemocratic rule. Addressing a public meeting 21 December 2017, Congress leaders warned that jobless youth who fought for Telangana and the families of farmers who committed suicide would ensure that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leaders would be jobless in 2019. Predicting a landslide victory for Congress, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the State government “cheated” all sections of society and now it was creating a wrong impression that it had resolved all the problems.

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Page last modified: 12-12-2018 13:15:17 ZULU