Hyderabad: The ruling TRS in Telangana is in an introspection mode after the unexpected Lok Sabha election shocker that's seen as a setback to the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. The Rao-led outfit welcomed into its fold as many of 11 Congress MLA since early March expecting them to further shore up the party's prospects in the April 11 Lok Sabha elections. But that was not to be. In fact, the move to get them on board may have backfired, a senior TRS leader said.
Before the poll in Telangana, which has a total of 17 Lok Sabha segments, TRS was confident of sweeping the elections in the company of AIMIM led by Hyderabad Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi. And its hope sounded credible in many quarters as both the Congress and the BJP had put up a dismal show in the Assembly elections just four months ago.
The Congress won only 19 Assembly seats in the 119-member House, while the BJP could bag only one. The TRS returned to power with a rich haul of 88 seats.
"Admitting the (11 Congress) MLAs created mistrust in the people who questioned the flouting of democratic norms...Sort of dictatorship (by the Chief Minister) that is going to happen in future. That was one issue talked by many people," a TRS leader admitted.
"People who voted for (Congress) MLAs felt cheated. So, they wanted to teach TRS a lesson. With such a huge majority, there was no need for the TRS to accept Congress MLAs," another TRS functionary added.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the TRS bagged 11 seats and the Congress two. The BJP, TDP, YSRCP and AIMIM shared one seat each.
This time, the TRS saw its tally going down to nine. The BJP and the Congress won four and three seats respectively.
Sources in the TRS alleged "collusion" between the Congress and the BJP to defeat candidates of the party.
The big shocker for the TRS was the defeat of the Chief Minister's daughter K Kavitha in Nizamabad and B Vinod Kumar, the party's deputy leader in the previous Lok Sabha, in Karimnagar. Both lost to BJP candidates.
"The fact that people generally preferred national parties in Lok Sabha elections and sidelining of TRS senior leader and the Chief Minister's nephew T Harish Rao also played a part in the party losing ground," a TRS leader said.
There was also a wave in favour of the BJP, he added.
"We (TRS) are in a shock; how could this happen? Now, in the coming days there could be revamp and reconstruction. some exercise is going on," a TRS leader said.
The TRS was expecting a hung Parliament and keen to play a role at the national level but the NDA coming back to power on its own strength dashed its hopes.
In fact, Rao had spearheaded the effort to bring together non-BJP and non-Congress regional parties on a common platform for a collective bargaining power.
"But the whole programme is derailed", sources in the regional party admitted.