Leaders of the Congress-led alliance in Telangana was upbeat on Monday over the combine's electoral prospects in the state, discounting exit polls, most of which predicted that the TRS would return to power.
Leaders of the Congress-led alliance in Telangana was upbeat on Monday over the combine’s electoral prospects in the state, discounting exit polls, most of which predicted that the TRS would return to power. For its part, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has repeatedly said that it would get a second term with a two-third majority.
Congress leaders have claimed that the alliance would win 75 to 80 seats in the 119-member Assembly, which went to the polls on December 7. “I strongly feel that ‘Prajakutami’ (People’s Front) will come to power,” Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) president Prof. M Kodandaram, told PTI on the eve of the result day.
The ‘Prajakutami’ comprised the Congress, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, the TJS, and the Communist Party of India (CPI).
Kodandaram dismissed exit polls forecast, saying he does not know the method and “sources” used in such post-poll surveys, and added that the alliance would be a clear winner. Senior TDP leader Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy claimed the alliance would win 65 seats.
On options before the alliance if it falls short of the number required to form government, he told PTI: “We have four-five Independents (who will win). They are in favour of the Congress.” Reddy suggested that some of the exit polls which predicted that the TRS would retain power might be “motivated”, and claimed that two pre-poll surveys had also predicted a hung assembly.
Listing the reasons for his confidence that the alliance would emerge victorious, Kodandaram claimed that apart from party cadre, the TRS has a very narrow support base in villages, essentially from those who got pensions and benefited from government schemes.
“Most of the youth, unemployed, particularly students, government employees, SCs and STs, a chunk of OBCs, upper castes, they are all with the Prajakutami and it has a wider social base,” he claimed while pointing to the collective strength of the four parties in the alliance.
Those who fought for Telangana and campaigned for the TRS in the 2014 elections are now on the ‘Prajakutami’ side, the TDP leader claimed.
According to him, the campaign by the alliance went very well, particularly in the last 10 days of hustings. “The only limitation was… had they (the alliance) launched the campaign from the 1st of November, the results would have been much better,” Kodandaram said.
But that “limitation” has been overcome to a considerable extent by a concerted campaign, he said.