TRS’s K Chandrashekar Rao had pushed for a non-BJP, non-Congress government after Lok Sabha elections. That appears dim now.

Election 2019: Exit Polls Dampen Spirits In TRS Camp

Exit polls predicting a second term for the Narendra Modi government have dampened spirits in Telangana Rashtra Samithi, as hopes of playing a role in the event of a hung Parliament after election results appeared dim.

“What we predicted and our feeling was neither the NDA nor the UPA will get majority on its own. As per exit polls, what we visualised is not going to be correct,” a senior leader of the Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao-led outfit said.

If National Democratic Alliance was to return to power on its own strength, according to the exit polls, Rao's push to forge a federal front of non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party regional parties will undoubtedly lose steam, said a political analyst.

During the campaign for 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Telangana, which has 17 parliamentary seats, TRS had repeatedly claimed that the party would play an important role in government formation at the centre.

Rao had floated the federal front idea in 2018 and met a number of leaders, including Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress, Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, MK Stalin of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Naveen Patnaik of the Biju Janata Dal and HD Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal (Secular).

Rao stepped up his efforts this month. In fact, ahead of the Lok Sabha election results this week, the TRS was hedging its bets and bracing for different post-poll scenarios, except majority for the NDA or the UPA, keeping its options open.

A senior TRS leader had said his party expects the Congress to not cross the 100 seats mark. “If the Congress falls flat and does not cross 100, it does not make sense at all (to join forces with it) as it will not be able to lead (the government),” this leader said.

According to people familiar with the matter, the TRS response would depend on how the BJP and the Congress approach the situation in the event of the NDA or the UPA falling short of the majority mark.

“More importantly, they (BJP and Congress) would want to keep the other out from power,” another TRS leader said. “We are keeping a close watch.”