Overconfidence by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) appeared to have caused a setback to the ruling party in Telangana as both the BJP and Congress were leading in four seats each, dashing its hopes of a clean sweep.
The TRS which was hoping to play a key role was leading in eight constituencies while its ally All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) was ahead in Hyderabad.
TRS President and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha was trailing in Nizamabad, a seat she won in 2014. Senior party leader Vinod Kumar was also trailing in Karimnagar.
TRS, which won the Assembly election in December 2018 with a landslide victory, was confident of winning 16 seats, leaving Hyderabad for AIMIM.
The trends show BJP and Congress leading in 4 seats each. Both the parties appeared to have eaten into TRS votes.
TRS, which bagged 88 seats in the 119-member Assembly, increased its tally to over 100 as 14 MLAs including 11 of Congress switched loyalties to the ruling party during the last couple of months.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, had sought the mandate in Lok Sabha election to enable TRS to play a key role in the formation of a non-BJP and non-Congress government at the Centre. His party leaders were even projecting him as a possible prime ministerial candidate.
The TRS chief, who proposed the Federal Front last year, had a series of meetings with leaders of various non-NDA parties.
Aiming to play a key role at the Centre, KCR had appointed his son K. T. Rama Rao as working president of TRS following the massive victory in the Assembly election. This was seen as an attempt to pave the way for Rama Rao to take over as Chief Minister in the event of KCR moving to Delhi.
In 2014, TRS had won 11 Lok Sabha seats while Congress had bagged two. BJP, YSR Congress Party, Telugu Desam Party and AIMIM had won one seat each.