HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s strategy to reverse the BJP’s winning streak has worked. His decision to field former Prime Minister late PV Narasimha Rao’s daughter Surabhi Vani Devi and sitting MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy for the two Graduate MLC seats in Telangana has sent the saffron party to the cleaners.
Vani Devi wrested Hyderabad-Rangareddy-Mahbubnagar from incumbent BJP MLC N Ramchander Rao by polling 1,89,339 lakh votes. In the process, she vanquished two-time MLC Prof K Nageshwar and Congress nominee G Chinna Reddy. In Nalgonda-Warangal-Khammam, though it is a sitting seat, Rajeshwar Reddy had to sweat it out to retain it.
He polled 1,61,811 votes. Independent Teenmaar Mallanna, who was once a journalist, gave Rajeshwar Reddy a run for his money. In the beginning, no one took a second look at him but he made heads turn when he began breathing down Rajeshwar Reddy’s neck.That meticulous planning would help one win any electoral battle has been proved once again. Since the beginning, the TRS took the election to the two seats quite seriously as it had to wrest one from the BJP and stop the saffron party from snatching the other from its hold.
Actuating his plan into motion, the Chief Minister, who has an admiration for scholars and litterateurs, pulled out a surprise on the Congress by claiming Narasimha Rao’s legacy and when the MLC election arrived, he nominated his daughter for the Hyd-RR-MBNR seat. By positioning her against the BJP, which has become a fly in the ointment for him of late, he sowed wind and reaped a whirlwind.
In Hyd-RR-MBNR, the TRS had an advantage from the start as, besides the BJP, there was the Congress and Prof K Nageshwar in the fray who shared the anti-TRS vote.
In NAL-WGL-KHM, Teenmar Mallanna, Prof Kodandaram, the BJP and Telangana Inti Party’s Cheruku Sudhakar, among others, split the anti-TRS votes.
Another factor, in addition to the hard work that the ministers put in campaigning, that helped the TRS was the Chief Minister’s reported promise of 29 per cent fitment. This seems to have made the government employees have a change of heart in favour of the pink party.
Pulverised in both the constituencies, the BJP now has lost the edge to its campaign that it was the only party that could challenge the TRS monolith in the 2023 Assembly polls. On the other hand, the TRS is now reassured that KCR’s magic is still at work, which is making it bolder, as it prepares for the Nagarjunasagar Assembly seat byelection on April 17. The leaders of the ruling party have already started baying for the BJP’s blood, saying that the TRS is invincible and those who come in its way would be obliterated. “The MLC poll results are a slap on the face of our critics,” Animal Husbandry Minister T Srinivas Yadav said, implying the BJP.