Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s gambit of dissolving the state assembly way ahead of time has paid off, exit polls indicated on Friday. Out of 11 exit polls, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi has been given outright majority by five. An aggregate of the exit polls have predicted the party will win 67 seats in the 119-member assembly — well above the majority mark of 60. The alliance of the Congress and Chandrababu Naidu will win 39 seats.
The BJP will win five and others, eight, the poll of exit polls predicted. Mr Rao had a good equation with Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM, which won seven seats in the last election.
Exit polls are known to get it wrong.
Both Congress and Mr Rao’s party said they were confident about a victory. The Congress predicted that would win 80 seats in the state. Mr Rao, on the other hand, said, “Pro-incumbency government is again coming back with a huge majority without any doubt”.
Telangana voted on Friday — the provisional figure of turnout was 67 per cent, down from last time’s 69.5 per cent. Polling, however, was marked by a huge section of people complaining about their names being missing from the voters’ list.
Mr Rao’s party had won 63 seats last time against the 21 seats of Congress and 15 of Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party. But data from the last election shows if the state votes in a similar fashion, a 2 per cent swing may change the outcome of the election.
A defeat of the Congress and Chandrababu Naidu will be a blow for the opposition plans for a united front against the BJP in next year’s national elections.
While KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, advocates a non-BJP, non-Congress Third Front, Mr Naidu had taken on the role of the facilitator for the united front against the BJP.
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