By poll results in Andhra Pradesh
By poll results in Andhra Pradesh
N Nagaraja Rao
The results of the by-elections conducted in Andhra Pradesh for seven Assembly constituencies, which comprised of six constituencies in the Telangana region and one in the coastal region, were a setback to the Congress in the state. The ruling party failed to open its account in the by polls. The opposition Telugu Desam Party too drew blank and perhaps lost more than the ruling party since four of its party legislators who turned rebel contesting on TRS and YSR Congress tickets, won the elections.
The by polls to five of the six constituencies in Telangana region were necessitated due to the resignation of sitting MLAs in support of separate statehood demand. While in Mahabubnagar, it was due to the death of a sitting member and in Kovur due to the resignation of sitting TDP MLA in support of Kadapa MP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. The results were in tune with the expectations and various exit polls conducted by television channels but the real stunner was the result of the Mahabubnagar Assembly seat won by the BJP by a slender margin despite heavy odds. BJP on its own won and its candidate Y Srinivas Reddy beat the TRS candidate Ibrahim in Mahabubnagar. Yennam Srinivas Reddy is considered to be one of the most promising, young and dynamic politicians in entire Mahabubnagar district.
The TRS won four of the seven Assembly seats. TRS candidates won in Station Ghanpur, Kamareddy, Adilabad and Kollapur, while TRS-backed independent candidate and former TDP leader Nagam Janardhan Reddy claimed victory over his rival in Nagarkurnool. The car which is the (symbol of the TRS) seemed to have lost its direction soon it entered Mahabubnagar and a see saw battle began between the contesting parties including the Congress. There was never a dull moment for the media, counting agents and partymen when the fortunes of the contestants were found oscillating to the extremes. Initially till the fourth round of counting, the results indicated the fight was between Congress and BJP and each candidate leading with slender margin and from the seventh round to twelfth it was TRS candidate leading with a margin of couple of thousand votes over his BJP rival and finally came a big leap from the BJP in the final round who emerged victorious with a margin of 1897 votes. BJP’s victory cheered even the Congressmen who found solace with the fact that the dictatorial attitude of the TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao was checkmated timely and BJP stands to gain immensely in the coming years. BJP state president Kishan Reddy likened counting of votes and the poll outcome to an Indo-Pakistan cricket match with BJP scoring over TRS in nail biting photo finish.
BJP candidate Srinivas Reddy stated that it was the stand taken by BJP and persistent fight for separate statehood in Parliament led to people expressing confidence in a national party that has common cause with TRS. The BJP could win the voters' confidence by convincing them that it alone could deliver a separate state, he added.
Congress which stood miserably third in Mahabubnagar pleaded with the MIM (Muslim Ittehad Muslimeen) to shore up the candidates fortunes and cadres of the MIM from Hyderabad were seen canvassing vigorously. An MP from Congress even attributed the victory of the BJP to the communal card played by the party and said that the voters were divided on communal lines although Telanagana sentiment is strong. A political analyst known for his frank views commented on this remark stating “if the allegations are true and voters are divided on communal lines, there are 55-65 seats that have a strong Muslim presence in Telangana and by implicit BJP can win these seats hands down. With the BJP projecting itself as an alternative with more than 165 MPs in NDA to fight for a separate Telangana cause there is every likelihood of exodus from TRS, Congress and TDP ranks to BJP. Thus TRS is now jittery over conceding a scanty space politically to BJP and its resurgence is worrying the TRS.
In Kovur, YSR Congress candidate N Prasanna Kumar Reddy beat TDP’s S Chandra Mohan Reddy and Congress was confined to a poor third. Soon after the results there is an open rebellion in the Congress ranks with the protogonists of the Telangana movement and its own Member of Parliament demanding tabling of the Bill in the budget session itself. They belive the arrest of the downslide is only possible by respecting the sentiments of the people. A Congress Minister DL Ravindra Reddy, a known detractor of the Chief Minister, has called for the resignation of the cabinet and PCC chief for uninspiring leadership.