Hyderabad, July 31: The Telangana voter has given his verdict: He will not settle for anything less than Telangana. In the by-elections to the 12 Assembly seats in five Telangana districts, the voters gave a resounding victory to the TRS candidates in 11 seats and to the BJP candidate Y Lakshminarayana in Nizamabad Urban, demonstrating their commitment to the Telangana cause.
The heaviest casualty in the election was PCC chief D Srinivas, who lost to BJP’s E Lakshminarayana in Nizamabad Urban by a margin of 11,981 votes. The election in this constituency evoked interest across the state amid speculation that if Srinivas wins, he could emerge as a potential contender for the chief minister’s post. Badly bruised in the electoral battle, Srinivas attributed his defeat to the overwhelming Telangana sentiment in favour of the candidates who had resigned as MLAs. By winning 11 seats, the TRS has improved its tally in the Assembly by one.
In all the seven constituencies – Nizamabad Urban, Dharmapuri, Vemulavada, Siddipet, Sirpur, Chennur and Mancherial – the results of which were announced by this afternoon (where EVMS were used), the TDP forfeited deposits. In Siddipet and Mancherial, the Congress too lost its deposits. The results in Warangal West, Sircilla, Huzurabad, Korutla and Ellareddy are expected only after midnight as ballot boxes were used in these constituencies. The TRS candidates have established an unassailable lead in all the five segments.
Even the TRS workers were surprised at the margin of victory their leaders secured and the ignominious defeat suffered by the Congress and the TDP. The star of the day was T Harish Rao, who won from Siddipet by a record margin of 95,850 votes — a quantum leap from his victory in 2009 when he secured 64,667 votes. He broke the record of the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy who secured a majority of 68,681 votes in Pulivendula in 2009 elections. The TRS landslide was in no doubt from the very outset. The party candidates established an early lead and in the seven constituencies where EVMs were used, they were declared winners by afternoon.
It was Telangana, all the way. For instance in Sirpur, Kaveti Sammaiah of the TRS won the seat by a margin of 15,229 votes against Congress’ A Indrakaran Reddy. In Chennur, TRS’ Nallala Odelu pipped Congress candidate and former minster G Vinod by a margin of 44,284 votes and in Mancherial, Gaddam Aravind Reddy, who virtually raised a banner of revolt against KCR embraced victory with a margin of 78,047 votes. In Dharmapuri, Koppula Eswar defeated Congress’ A Laxman Kumar with margin of 58,891 votes and surprisingly in Vemulavada, TDP MLA-turned-TRS candidate Ch Ramesh polled 50,457 more votes than his nearest Congress rival.
For one thing, the voters have marginalised not only the TDP but also the Congress for its ambivalent stand on Telangana.
When the results were finally out, the two parties offered lame excuses to justify their defeat. TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu compared his difficulty in choosing between Telangana and Andhra to a father grappling with two squabbling sons.