Hyderabad: Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K Chandrashekhar Rao is likely to take oath as chief minister of the state on Thursday, sources close to news agency ANI said on Wednesday. The development came a day after the TRS won 88 seats in the 119-member Assembly, just two short of three-fourths majority, in the Telangana Assembly Election 2018 Results.

Rao (64) himself won by a margin of over 51,000 votes from his Gajwel seat, trouncing V Pratap Reddy of the Congress. Rao’s son KT Rama Rao and nephew T Harish Rao, both ministers in his caretaker government, also won by impressive margins.

The newly-elected lawmakers of the TRS are scheduled to meet at 11.30 AM in Hyderabad on Wednesday to formally elect Rao as the leader of the legislature party and to finalise the date for his swearing-in.

The Praja Kutami (Peoples Front), a 4-party opposition alliance led by the Congress that included Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP, CPI and the newly formed Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS), cut a sorry figure together winning 21 seats. The Congress had just 19 seats in its kitty, two less that what it won in the last polls, while the TDP could win only two against its tally of 15 seats in 2014. The two other coalition partners failed to open their account.

Telangana was the only state among the five where results of assembly polls were declared on Tuesday that the Congress had cobbled together a coalition amid the talk of formation of a broad-based alliance to take on the BJP-led NDA in the Lok Sabha polls next year.

The BJP, which had won five seats in the last assembly polls in 2014 held in undivided Andhra Pradesh that it contested in alliance with the TDP, had to be content with just one seat out of the 118 where its candidates tried their luck. Its state chief and sitting MLA K Laxman finished a poor third in Musheerabad.

Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s party AIMIM, which Rao calls a “friendly party”, won seven seats, equalling its performance in the 2014 polls.

Dedicating his party’s resounding victory to the people of Telangana, Rao said an action plan for development will be prepared to meet the aspirations of people.

“We are going to play a very crucial role in national politics…we will show…we will give a new definition to the national political scenario,” a triumphant Rao told a press conference. “Todays results…Telangana has shown the way to the whole nation. Today, Telangana stands (as) a non-Congress, non-BJP state,” Rao, who has lobbied with leaders of other major regional parties, including TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, to pitch for a federal front against the two national parties, said.

Meanwhile, the Congress cried foul, saying it suspected “manipulation” of the Electronic Voting Machines, and demanded that all votes be counted using the VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) to ascertain the exact number of votes polled by each candidate. CPI general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy attributed distribution of “huge amounts of money and liquor” by the TRS for its victory.