- Exit polls suggest KCR's party TRS may comfortably retain Telangana
- State BJP says it can partner anyone except Congress, Asaduddin Owaisi
- TRS spokesperson says confident party will win enough seats
Yet another BJP overture for alliance has got shot down by K Chandrashekar Rao's Telangana Rashtra Samithi, a party the Congress dubbed the "B Team of the BJP". Two days after most exit polls predicted that the TRS will get a second term in power with a healthy majority, the state BJP said it was ready to ally with "anyone except the Congress or (Asaduddin Owaisi's party) AIMIM". The pre-condition leaves out only the TRS, whose chief considers Mr Owaisi's party a "friendly" one.
Out of 11 exit polls, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi has been given outright majority by five. An aggregate of the exit polls shows the party will win 67 seats in the 119-member assembly -- well above the majority mark of 60.
The aggregate also indicates that the BJP will get five seats. "If the public did not vote us to power, then a discussion will be held on forming an alliance with the other political parties except the Congress and AIMIM," state BJP chief K Laxman was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Asserting that the BJP is keeping its options open, Mr Laxman added, "We will definitely be in power".
Bhanu Prasad, spokesperson of Telangana Rashtra Samithi said they don't need any alliance and that they would form the government in the state on their own. "We are confident that we will win enough seats to retain power in the state," Mr Prasad was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Mr Rao had turned the BJP down earlier, when the party sent feelers to his leaders. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi will remain a secular party, reiterated Mr Rao, who is batting for a non-BJP, non-Congress Third Front for next year's general elections.
The Congress, which, for the first time, tied up with long-time rival Chandrababu Naidu, will get only 39 of the state's 119 seats, way below the majority mark of 60, the poll of exit polls predicted. "Others" which is expected to include Mr Owaisi's party, will get 8 seats, an aggregate of exit polls predicted.
State Congress chief GN Reddy did not rule out joining hands with Mr Owaisi's party. "If the TRS goes with BJP, AIMIM can sail with us if they want to," he said. The state elections in Telangana was held on Friday, the votes will be counted on Tuesday.
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