The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi was on the course to win most urban local bodies in the state in the elections held earlier this week. Counting of votes in 120 municipalities and 10 corporations had started at 8 am on Saturday.

As of 3.30 pm, the party, led by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was leading in 945 of the 1,542 wards for which trends were available, The Indian Express reported. The Congress was next with 295 leads, and the Bharatiya Janata Party with 111.

The elections were held for 2,647 wards in the 120 municipalities and 382 divisions in the corporations. All urban local bodies except those in Karimnagar municipal corporation had voted on January 22. Elections in Karimnagar took place on Friday. Councillors for 80 wards and corporators for three divisions had already been elected unopposed, according to the Telangana State Election Commission.

The Congress did not field candidates in over 400 wards, and the Bharatiya Janata Party in over 700, PTI reported.

TRS working president KT Rama Rao said the results showed the voters’ endorsement of the welfare and development programmes carried out by the state government under K Chandrashekar Rao, PTI reported. “They have rejected the false campaign of Opposition parties in the municipal polls,” KT Rama Rao, who is the chief minister’s son, said.

He said there were no elections for the next four years, and the party would dedicate itself again to people’s welfare.

K Chandrashekar Rao also addressed the media in the evening, and said the Opposition should respect the mandate given by voters, otherwise “democracy will lose its value”, The Indian Express reported.