Lok Sabha polls: Candidates more important than parties for urban voters

People in Hyd preferred experienced Congress leaders to novices of ruling TRS

Published: 24th May 2019 08:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2019 08:39 AM   |  A+A-

File picture of Hyderabad voters | Express

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The urban voters of Hyderabad were clear with their mandate of voting for experienced candidates over newcomers after they elected the three-time former MLA Kishan Reddy from Secunderabad and two-time former MLA Revanth Reddy from Malkajgiri. In Hyderabad as well, while initial trends were swinging the BJP way, AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi managed to retain his seat with a good margin. 

However, it appears, the pink party’s gamble of fielding new faces with no experience didn’t seem to go very well with the complacent yet mature voters of the State capital. The voters went on to gauge the performance of an individual candidate over the party’s sheen.

The TRS had put up two absolutely new faces from the said constituencies. For Secunderabad it was 32-year-old Talasani Sai Kiran, son of MLA Talasani Srinivas. For Malkajgiri, it was Marri Rajasekhar Reddy who has been running a group of educational institutions and has no prior political exposure, whatsoever. While Sai Kiran’s defeat was rather expected, considering Secunderabad never yielded to anyone but a BJP candidate, the loss margin of a massive 62,114 votes appalled all. Meanwhile, Marri Rajasekhar Reddy put up a tough fight and went down by a smaller margin of 10,422 votes.

The ruling TRS party’s gamble on newer, lesser-known candidates— sans political experience in both the constituencies—was probably based on the assumption that they will ride on the TRS sweep in GHMC area from the December 2018 Assembly polls. The assumption was clearly prove wrong and did not seem to click with the voters. 

The only possible saving grace for TRS in the GHMC and urban pocket of the State was Chevella. 

Trends similar to 2014 polls
The Lok Sabha election results in Hyderabad and its surrounding semi-urban localities are a reminder of the trend that was witnessed during the 2014 Assembly elections, when the TRS won with huge margins across the State, but was rejected in the city and its surrounding areas. The Secunderabad Assembly constituency, however, was an exception. 

Of all the Lok Sabha segments under the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) limits, like Secunderabad, Malkajgiri, Bhongir, Chevella, the pink party could only retain Chevella. 
In 2018 Assembly elections, all these segments saw TRS MLAs holding the Assembly segments, riding high on the election campaign by TRS working president, KT Rama Rao. However, the party could not translate this strength into a victory in 2019 LS elections, from these segments. While Hyderabad LS segment was wrested by AIMIM, a friendly ally of TRS, the party lost in Malkajgiri, Secunderabad and Bhongir. 

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