Lok Sabha elections 2019: KCR’s plan to play kingmaker in Delhi falls flat

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao hoped to emerge as a key figure in national politics and become a kingmaker in New Delhi in the event the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) fell short of the numbers to form a government at the Centre. But his party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), could win only 9 out of 17 seats in the state. TRS expected to win 16 seats.

The BJP increased its tally from one to four seats in Telangana as it won Adilabad, Karimnagar, Secunderabad and Nizamabad seats. The BJP had won just one seat in 2014 – Secundrabad.

Kalvakuntla Kavitha, the daughter of KCR, as the chief minister is popularly known, failed to retain her seat – Nizamabad. She lost to BJP’s Arvind Dharmapuri by a margin of 70,606 votes.

Similarly, KCR’s close confidant, B Vinod Kumar, failed to retain Karimnagar seat. He lost to BJP’s Bandi Sanjay Kumar by a margin of 89,508 votes. Kumar also lost the 2018 assembly elections when TRS swept the polls to return to power by winning 88 out of 119 seats.

The BJP had won just one out of 118 assembly seats it had contested in Telangana. The party’s candidates had lost their deposits at 103 places.

The Congress won three Lok Sabha seats in Telangana.

State BJP president K Laxman said KCR advanced assembly elections that were due to be held along with national polls as he was aware that the TRS would be washed away in the Modi wave.

KCR had set a target of winning at least 16 seats based on his party’s performance in the assembly elections. He campaigned with the slogan “car, KCR, Delhi Sarkar” and was hopeful of having a bigger role in the formation of the government at the Centre.

KCR even tried to form a federal front of regional parties to try and form a government at the Centre with outside support from the Congress in case the BJP was unable to get the required number of seats.

Political analyst Sriram Karri said with BJP’s emphatic victory has dashed hopes of regional parties such as TRS to play a role at the Centre.

HT on May 20 reported KCR summoned his team of senior TRS leaders in Hyderabad after exit polls projected that his party would sweep the elections, winning 13-14 seats.

The TRS leaders discussed the post-results scenario in the state. KCR told his party leaders that the exit polls had underestimated the party’s victory and told them that the TRS would outperform the predictions.

KCR had never made a secret of his aspirations in national politics after his party swept the 2018 state elections.

KCR’s idea of a federal non-BJP and non-Congress front appeared to have gathered momentum when the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader MK Stalin gave up its initial hesitation and met the Telangana chief minister on May 13.

KCR hoped the regional parties such as the DMK, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Trinamool Congress would perform better than the Congress and the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.

First Published:
May 24, 2019 05:07 IST

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