In 2014, despite spearheading the movement for a separate state, KCR's TRS managed to win only 63 out of the 119 seats. The Congress came second with 21 seats, while the TDP and YSR Congress party bagged 15 and 3 respectively. The Asaduddin Owaisi led AIMM and the BJP won seven and five seats respectively.
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Sources close to Rao tell OneIndia that he has no doubt about retaining power. He has two things in mind-one is to win by a bigger margin this year and then solely focus on the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. This indicates that KCR would hope that the elections are held in 2018 itself.
Rao has shown keen interest in national politics over the past couple of months. He did try stitching up an alternate front, but the plan did not materialise. KCR has made it clear that he would not be part of any front that involves the Congress, which is his primary opponent in Telangana.
In recent times KCR has also shown a great deal of proximity to the BJP. He has held two back to back meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Further his party backed the BJP both in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha during the no trust vote and the elections to the post of deputy chairman.
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Rao is aware that he would be a key player, especially at a time when the BJP is not leaving any stone unturned to better its tally in South. KCR would not be part of the NDA, but is likely to back in the post election scenario.
His son, K T Rama Rao says that if at all the polls are held early, it would help the party. The TRS would win both the state and Lok Sabha polls convincingly, he said. The TRS also feels that early elections would also give it sufficient time to rope in partners in 2019. Basically KCR wants the two elections to be separate affairs so that he could dedicate ample time to both.