Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Tuesday decimated the Prajakutami alliance -- comprising the Congress, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) -- bagging 88 seats in the 119 Telangana assembly.
The Congress won 19 seats, while Asauddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) cornered 7 seats and others 5 seats.
The TRS was also helped by AIMIM, which extended its support to the Rao-led party in constituencies where the Owaisi-led outfit did not field candidates. Owaisi had also campaigned for TRS candidates in some constituencies.
PTI, Rao will be formally elected leader of the legislature party Wednesday, party sources said. A meeting of the legislature party has been convened at 11.30 am in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Asked when Rao would be sworn in as Chief Minister, a senior TRS leader told PTI: "Tomorrow, he (Rao) will take a call on that. It (swearing-in) will definitely happen before December 15... after the 15th it's not auspicious".
In the meantime, Rao met the governor E S L Narasimhan at the Raj Bhavan Tuesday to stake his claim to form the government for a second time.
Rao termed the huge win of his party in the assembly elections as people's victory. He told a news conference at TRS headquarters that people irrespective of caste, creed and religion and all sections including farmers, women and youth supported the TRS. His gamble of dissolving the Assembly in September, eight months ahead of schedule paid off handsomely in the polls.
Rao won his seat from
Gajwel constituency by the margin of 57,321 votes. He got 123,996 votes, while his nearest Congress rival Vanteru Pratap Reddy bagged 66,675 votes. Rao's son K T Rama Rao and nephew T Harish Rao, both ministers in his caretaker government, also won by impressive margins.
Four ministers in the caretaker Telangana government and Speaker of the dissolved Assembly S Madhusudhan Chary were among those who lost from their constituencies on Tuesday. The ministers were Tummala Nageswar Rao, Jupally Krishna Rao, P Mahender Reddy and Azmeera Chandulal.
Revanth Reddy, Jana Reddy, J Geetha Reddy and DK Aruna and TPCC President Uttam Kumar Reddys wife Padmavathi Reddy were among senior Congress leaders who were defeated. Ministers E Rajender, T Srinivas Yadav, T Padma Rao and Pocharam Srinivas Reddy were among those who won from their constituencies.
The AIMIM won seven of the eight seats it contested in the polls, retaining its hold in its traditional bastion of the Old City of Hyderabad. MIM won in seven assembly constituencies for the first time in 2009 and repeated the feat in 2014.
Akbaruddin Owaisi, the star campaigner for the party, registered an emphatic win in Chandrayangutta seat, his fifth in a row since 1999, with a margin of 80,263 votes. Owaisi polled 95,311 votes while his immediate rival BJP's Sayyad Shahezadi, who was a leader of ABVP, secured 15,048 and TRS candidate M Seetharam Reddy 14,223 votes.
Esa Bin Obaid Misri of Congress, a wrestler and bodybuilder, finished fourth with 11,304 votes. Similarly, AIMIM candidate Mohd Moazam Khan was declared elected from Bahadurpura constituency in the city by 82,518 votes against TRS candidate. Khan made a hat-trick from Bahadurpura and secured 96,993 votes while Inayath Ali Baqri of TRS managed 14,475.
MIM's Kausar Mohiuddin, who trailed by over 6,000 votes after the ninth round against BJP candidate Amar Singh in Karwan Assembly segment, made a remarkable comeback to emerged the winner by over 50,000 votes.The party's five-time MLA Mumtaz Ahmed Khan and Ahmed Pasha Qadri, who swapped their seats, won from Charminar and Yakutpura respectively.
In Malakpet, Ahmed Bin Abdullah Balala won his third straight term while Jaffer Hussain Meraj emerged victorious from Nampally seat for the second consecutive time.
MIM had fielded candidates in eight of the 119 assembly segments. Mirza Rahmat Baig fielded in Rajendranagar, which the party contested as the additional seat this time, was the lone loser.
For BJP, firebrand leader Raja Singh Lodh, known in many quarters for his "inflammatory" comments, and who has over 60 cases against him, mostly for "hate speeches", retained his Goshamahal Assembly constituency in Hyderabad as all other party candidates bit the dust in the December 7 Telangana polls.
The BJP's Telangana president K Laxman and its senior leader G Kishan Reddy and NTRs grand-daughter Nandamuri Suhasini who contested on TDP ticket also lost the battle.
Congress cried foul, saying it suspected "manipulation" of the Electronic Voting Machines, and demanded that all votes be counted using the VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) to ascertain the exact number of votes polled by each candidate.
"The whole Telangana society has doubts about EVMs. Why the Election Commission is not counting every paper trail linked to Electronic Voting Machines by delaying result by 4-5 hours? Election Commission does not have a proper answer," Telangana Congress chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy said.
CPI general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy attributed distribution of "huge amounts of money and liquor" by the TRS for its victory. "This election was not free and fair. Distribution of money and liquor was terrible. I do not think it is a moral victory for him (Rao), it is only a technical victory," Reddy said.
Rao, 64, who emerged as the mascot of Telangana pride when he led the massive movement that convulsed undivided Andhra Pradesh and ended with the creation of the youngest state of the country in 2014, powered his party winning 82 seats in the 119-member assembly.
(With inputs from PTI)