The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) triumphed in the byelection held to the Warangal Lok Sabha constituency, posting a landslide victory. Pasunuru Dayakar of the TRS registered the biggest victory margin compared to any leader in the history of the TRS. All other contestants had to forfeit their deposits.
The Congress, which is the main opposition in the Telangana assembly, stood at a “no-so-honourable” and “very distant” second place, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party-Telugu Desam Party (BJP-TDP) combine at a miserable third. The YSR Congress came fourth and the combined nominee of the Left followed.
Chief Minister and TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao thanked the people for reposing their confidence in his government and the party. “By endowing us with a wave-like victory, people have enhanced our responsibility towards them.” As part of his “thanksgiving” address at a press conference, KCR laid emphasis on irrigation projects.
His son and Minister for Information Technology K Taraka Rama Rao (KTR) claimed that the result is a referendum on the TRS party’s governance in the last 16-17 months in the state. The people reposed their confidence in the government as they have tasted the fruits of good governance and they proved the vilification campaign by a section of the media against the KCR administration wrong.
The byelection was necessitated by the resignation of Kadiyam Srihari, who had joined KCR’s cabinet as deputy chief minister. This is the second time that the TRS tested waters in the newly carved state after being elected to power in 2014. Party nominee K Prabhakar Reddy won by a margin of 3,61,277 from Medak Lok Sabha seat in September last year in a byelection caused due to the resignation of KCR, who contested for Lok Sabha and also the assembly at the time of general elections.
The Congress had to change its candidate (Rajaiah) following the suicide of his daughter-in-law, along with her three children, on the verge of closure of nominations. The party had fielded former Union Minister Sarve Satyanarayana by “importing” him from Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency, which he once represented and later lost in 2014 general elections.
Here are the five key takeaways from the election:
1. The TRS hasn’t lost steam. On the other hand, it has only reinforced the Telangana sentiment among people. For now, the party remains invincible beyond any doubt and no other political formation looks good enough to offer a formidable opposition to the ruling party in the state in the near future.
2. The Congress remains the main opposition in the state, thanks to its traditional vote bank. However, it could neither consolidate its position nor could it strengthen itself. It did not have a candidate to contest the polls when its original nominee had to be replaced owing to the suicide of his daughter-in-law.
TheTelugu Desam Party claimed that the result would have been different had it directly entered the fray. It’s lone MP from Malkajgiri Malla Reddy said that the election was not a referendum on governance under KCR. The TDP and the BJP jointly stood at a humiliating third position, speaking volumes of who stands where politically. That the TDP kick-started its usual negative rhetoric that most of its leaders had encouraged their cadres to cast their votes in favour of the TRS was not even an eye-wash. The BJP nominee funnily claimed that he would have won had Modi announced that he would be taken into the Union Cabinet.
The YSR Congress entered the fray like a “joker in the pack of cards” and the result show why. Party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, proved his political immaturity. That he could re-enter a place where his proposed tour was vehemently and violently opposed is the only takeaway for the YSR Congress. Whoever had advised him to lead his party’s campaign must be licking the wounds.
5. The Communists fielded a university professor as common candidate but proved that their contest was no more than tokenism, for they neither have leaders nor cadre at the grassroots level.
Updated Date: Nov 24, 2015 18:55 PM