Andhra, Telangana exit polls: Delhi hopes of Naidu, KCR could be dashed

Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu and TRS chief Chandrasekhar Rao
Exit polls of the general elections dampened the hopes of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhara Rao. Naidu and KCR’s dream of playing kingmakers in the event of a hung Parliament were dashed as most exit polls predicted an absolute majority for the BJP-led NDA alliance.

Having little hope of retaining power in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly election, Naidu tried to grab a role in the formation of a Congress-led government at the Centre even before the announcement of results. 

The exit polls gave 17-18 Lok Sabha seats out of 25 to the YSR Congress Party. Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is slotted to get eight seats. The YSR Congress leader has a good equation with Prime Minister Modi and their relation has only strengthened after Naidu's quarrel with the BJP leadership. 

On the question of who he would support at the Centre in the next election, Jagan always held that he would back whoever promises the special category status to AP, a promise reneged on by the BJP in the past and revived by Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Though Jagan recently said he had no hard feelings towards the Congress when it came to the question of supporting it in exchange of special category status, the exit poll outcome must be music to his ears as he did not have to take a stand and simply maintain a working relationship with the Centre.

On the other hand, KCR's political plans, which were mostly centered on a hung Assembly, will go awry if the May 23 counting produces the same results as the exit poll results. He wanted to find a national role for himself by being in the central government and transfer power in the state to his son and party working president K T Rama Rao. Rao had sought for an early Assembly election to execute these political plans. The predictions come short of TRS's own expectations as he wanted to bag all the 16 seats, leaving one seat to his political ally and MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi.

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