The confidence levels among Congress leaders in Telangana about forming the first government in the new State on their own has gone down after they made a preliminary analysis of the polling pattern across the region on Thursday.

An indication to that effect was given to AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh subtly that the party may not be able to come to power on its own strength going by the polling trends.

TPCC president Ponnala Lakshmaiah, who called on Mr. Singh on Thursday, is believed to have given the feedback that the party might cross the 50-seat mark, short by 10 to touch the magic figure of 60 to form the first government in Telangana with simple majority.

Sources said the two leaders have analysed district-wise polling and came to the conclusion that it would be neck and neck race between the Congress and TRS in several constituencies. “After taking feedback from the district Congress leaders, the TPCC chief told Mr. Singh that Congress is confident of winning at least 54 Assembly and eight Lok Sabha seats,” a senior Congress leader told The Hindu.

The Congress chief told Mr. Singh that the TRS tally would not cross 40 with its candidates faring well only in North Telangana. He is also understood to have dismissed the claims of TRS chief K.Chandrasekhar Rao that TRS would sweep the polls.

The TPCC leadership has also analysed that the TDP-BJP combine is set to make some gains in the twin cities, Ranga Reddy and Mahabubnagar districts. Further, the TPCC president informed Mr. Singh that BJP might spring a surprise in Nizamabad, Warangal and Mahabubnagar districts, party sources said.

District-wise information gathered by the TPCC indicate that it may not be easy going for bigwigs such as former Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Raj Narasimha, the TPCC chief, working president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, former Ministers – K. Jana Reddy, D. Sridhar Babu, J.Geetha Reddy, V. Sunitha Laxma Reddy, Baswaraj Saraiah and former PCC president D. Srinivas.

Officials engaged in the polling exercise in a few South Telangana districts also indicated that several big names may have tough time in retaining their seats. “Mood of the electorate on Wednesday was pointing towards such upheavals”, a polling official in Nalgonda district stated.

The Congress would be left with two options if the mandate is fractured. “The party may seek support of MIM and other friendly parties like CPI, if its gets past 50 seats, to form the government. In case its tally is on a par with TRS with 40 to 45 apiece, the post-poll alliance between the two is a certainty”, party sources pointed out.

A senior Congress leader maintained that the TRS would woo MIM and CPI if it manages to win over 50 seats to form the government, instead of banking on Congress.