HYDERABAD: The Dubbaka bypoll defeat is like a screeching halt in the seemingly unstoppable victory march of the ruling TRS since 2014. The TRS has been registering thumping victories right from the 2014 Assembly polls. The TRS won the 2018 Assembly polls, and even wrested Congress seats in Palair, Narayankhed and Huzurnagar bypolls.
However, the defeat in Dubbaka is a bitter one for the ruling party, as it failed to retain the seat on the home turf of TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Dubbaka is considered a strong TRS bastion. Gajwel Assembly is represented by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Siddipet seat is represented by Finance Minister T Harish Rao. Dubbaka, located in the same Siddipet district, is now represented by BJP’s Raghunandan Rao.
The bypoll for Dubbaka was necessitated due to the sudden demise of TRS MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy, a four-time MLA and a Telangana Statehood champion. Despite a heavy basket of pluses, the TRS failed to encash on the sympathy factor.
In the Narayankhed bypoll in 2016, the TRS overcame the sympathy wave and wrested the seat from the Congress. Similarly, the party overcame the sympathy factor and wrested the seat from the Congress in Palair Assembly bypoll. The TRS also wrested the Huzurnagar seat, which was vacated by PCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy. It retained Medak and Warangal LS seats in the bypolls. But this time in Dubbaka, the BJP overcame the sympathy factor and wrested the seat from the TRS.
Even if one were to keep the sympathy factor aside, there were several other things favouring the TRS. There have been good rains this year and farmers are happy. Irrigation projects have been completed. The government promptly handed out Rythu Bandhu funds to farmers. Out of the 1.90 lakh voters in Dubbaka, at least 1.56 lakh voters received one or more benefits from the State government in the form of welfare schemes. There are 78,000 farmers in Dubbaka, who have been receiving `10,000 per year under Rythu Bandhu. Despite these, the TRS lost the seat. Therein lies the shock factor.