Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is all set to form the first government in the new state of Telangana while Telugu Desam Party (TDP) swept the coastal districts to form the next government in the new state of Seemandhra.
TRS won 65 of the 119 Assembly seats, riding on Telangana state sentiment. In Seemandhra, the TDP won 103 of the 175 seats against all odds as the 27 per cent Kapu community, and literate and middle and upper classes in urban and semi-urban segments, and a section of the BCs decided to favour TDP, and powered it ahead.
The TDP swept north coastal districts as well as the Krishna and Godavari river belt comprising Krishna, East Godavari, West Godavari, and Guntur districts, and consolidated its position in Anantapur in Rayalaseema.
Going by party performance, it is the TDP which has done well in both Seemandhra as well as Telangana. After sweeping the municipal and panchayat polls early this week in Seemandhra, and doing extremely well in Telangana, the TDP, besides winning 103 seats in Seemandhra, has surprisingly won 15 Assembly seats in Telangana and bagged the prestigious Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency, a suburb of Hyderabad. The 15 Assembly seats that TDP won in Telangana are in and around Hyderabad where a large number of Seemandhra people reside, and YSRCP was predicted to win in these seats.
For the TRS, it is basically TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao’s single-handed win. It was KCR who was quick to wrest the initiative as soon as Telangana Bill was passed on February 18 and took credit for leading Telangana agitation to its conclusion, and launched a high-pitched campaign leaving the Congress way behind.
By the time Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi arrived in Telangana to campaign, KCR was miles ahead converting the goodwill into TRS’ favour and asking people to give it a chance to form the first government. It was KCR’s confidence that Telangana sentiment would sweep TRS to power, and therefore he refused to merge with the Congress and decided to contest alone. Reports that Telangana voted differently for TRS in Assembly and for Congress in Lok Sabha—were also proved wrong.
The TRS’ campaign had no other stars except KCR who addressed over 300 public meetings, heli-hopping around and often addressing more than 10 meetings in a single day. The TRS not only retained its north Telangana stronghold but also made inroads in south Telangana, a Congress bastion.
While it is clear that the Telangana sentiment vote helped TRS sweep to victory, KCR’s promises to make Telangana into a welfare state has also played a major role. KCR’s assurance that he would provide two-bed room houses, free healthcare, free education to poor and low-income groups, free power and irrigation facilities to farmers etc have also made a huge impact.