The Congress battled tooth and nail to carve out the state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh, probably hoping that the divide and rule strategy would work in its favour. Unfortunately for the Congress, the voters cut the party to size in the 2014 general election. The party won just two of the 17 Parliamentary seats from Telangana even as it drew a blank in Andhra's 25 Parliamentary seats.
The Congress' loss was entirely the regional parties' gain. Both the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) won landslide victories in Andhra and Telangana respectively, together bringing an end to the decade-long Congress rule in the undivided state.
In Telangana, the TRS won 62 seats, with its founder-leader, K Chandrasekhar Rao, is likely to be the newest state's first chief minister. Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP won 88 of the 175 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh. Naidu, who won his Kuppam Assembly seat for the seventh time with a margin of 47,000 votes, is on course to become the state's chief minister for the third time in his political career. YS Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress emerged as second-best in Andhra but failed to make a dent in Telangana.
"I told everyone that TRS will win majority and I don't regret rejecting the Congress offer," said KCR, who won his assembly (Gajwel) and Parliamentary (Medak) seats. TRS members will meet on Saturday to select their chief minister. "We have no ill will against anyone. I will interact with Chandrababu Naidu, the future CM of Seemandhra on all issues of mutual cooperation," added KCR.
KCR's son KT Rama Rao won the Siricilla assembly seat; his nephew T Harish Rao won from Siddipet assembly seat and his daughter K. Kavitha won the Nizamabad Parliamentary constituency.
"The KCR family can meet often in the Assembly and Parliament," joked a YSR Congress spokesman.
The Congress had several reverses. Most of its leaders and ministers — M Pallam Raju, Sunitha Reddy, Sridhar Babu, TPCC president Ponnala Lakshmaiah, former Karimnagar MP Ponnala Prabhakar and Shabir Ali — lost their assembly and Parliamentary seats in Telangana and Andhra. Deputy chief minister Damodar Rajnarasimha lost to Telugu comedian Babumohan from Andole while actor Vijayshanti, who defected to the Congress on election eve, lost in Medak. However, Congress leaders who had joined the TDP recorded comfortable victories in Anantapur, Narasaraopeta.
The MIM retained all the seven assembly seats and lone Parliamentary seat from Hyderabad.