Telangana’s voters chose to re-elect Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) for a second term in the assembly elections held earlier this month. Registering a vote share of about 47 per cent, the TRS was leading in 87 [won in 65, leading in 22] constituencies of the total 119 (as of 7 pm), while the Prajakutami and other contenders – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bahujana Left Front (BLF) – have failed significantly in gaining ground. Congress is leading in 19 seats [won in 16, leading in 3], All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (7), Telugu Desam Party (2), BJP (1), All India Forward Bloc (1), and Independent (1).
Results as per ECI at 5 pm
These results in Telangana are a positive reiteration of a vote for welfare, says Ajay Gudavarthy, associate professor, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Speaking to Newsclick, Gudavarthy said: “After a prolonged period of economic crisis that Telangana had witnessed, the last few years after the formation of the state have been a relief. However, in spite of a range of welfare policies churned out by K Chandrashekar Rao, there was visible resentment among the youth owing to jobless growth. Congress failed to capitalise on it, essentially due to utter lack of imagination in providing an alternative narrative and agenda.”
In the December 7 polls, of the total 2.8 crore voters, the state recorded a 72.30 per cent voter turnout. It should be noted that the rural constituencies saw a higher voter turnout of over 80 per cent, while the urban constituencies (in and around Hyderabad) fell to a dismal figure – to less than 50 per cent. However, the election commission officials had to apologise to the people, as nearly 27 lakh voters’ names went missing from the voter list.
Gudavarthy opined that the majority that the TRS got, is a ‘vote under compulsion’ situation than a positive affirmation of the popularity of the TRS and KCR.
While the TRS vote share increased by about 13 per cent – to 47 per cent from 34.3 per cent in 2014. Congress, on the other hand, registered a slight increase in its vote share to about 29 per cent from 25.2 per cent in previous elections.
Caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who retained Gajwel assembly constituency, and will likely be sworn in as the chief minister of the state for the second term, said that the TRS victory is the victory of the people. “The country needs an alternative agriculture policy and economic policy and Telangana will try to make an impact in the national politics, for a non-BJP and non- Congress India,” KCR said while addressing a press conference in Hyderabad.
While Congress settled to be the second largest party in the state, winning in 19 seats, several senior leaders from Congress including Jana Reddy from Nagarjuna Constituency, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy (Nalgonda), D K Aruna (Gadwal), Ponnam Prabhakar (Karimnagar), Geetha Reddy (Zaheerabad), Jeevan Reddy (Jagityala), Revanth Reddy (Kodangal) among others tasted defeat in these elections. This brings out in open the internal crisis within Congress party in the state.
AIMIM won in seven constituencies, becoming the third largest party in terms of MLAs. AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s brother Akbaruddin Owaisi won with a majority of over 80,000 votes from Chandrayangutta constituency. AIMIM recorded three per cent vote share in these elections. Earlier, the party had extended their support to the TRS.
The BJP, which contested from 118 constituencies, got a vote share of about seven per cent, third highest in the state. While the saffron party had won five seats in previous elections, this time, it could win from only one seat. BJP leader T Raja Singh retained Goshamahal constituency.
BJP state president K Laxman lost from Musheerabad constituency and Kishan Reddy, former president of the party, lost from the Amberpet seat.
TDP, which contested from 13 constituencies, as part of Prajakutami alliance, could win only two seats – Mecha Nageswara Rao won from Aswaraopeta constituency and Sandra Venkata Veeraiah won from Sathupally constituency. While the TDP won from five seats with 14.7 per cent vote share in 2014, it fell to 3.1 per cent in this election.
CPI and newly launched Telangana Jana Samithi party – two members of Prajakutami – couldn’t win any seat.
CPI(M)-led Bahujan Left Front, which contested from 118 constituencies, failed to make an impact. The alliance of left and Bahujan ideology parties trailed in all constituencies, despite people-centric manifesto. BLF could get only 1.1 per cent vote share.
It should be noted that the prominent Dalit organisations Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti (MRPS), and Mala Mahanadu had supported Prajakutami, while the BSP party had contested separately. These contenders also lost in all the constituencies, but could get two per cent vote share.