BJP faces uphill battle in graduates MLC byelection in Telangana

The primary challenge for the BJP is to connect with graduates and secure their votes, a task that has reportedly not gone as planned.
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

HYDERABAD: With the BJP eyeing big gains in the Lok Sabha elections in Telangana, its performance in the upcoming Graduate MLC byelection has stirred considerable interest.

Image used for representation
Parties shift focus to graduates Council byelection in Telangana

The BJP has expressed confidence of winning a majority of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana while looking to bolster its presence in the state Legislature by winning the Khammam-Warangal-Nalgonda graduate MLC byelection. The party has fielded G Premender Reddy, who finished fourth in the last election.

Senior BJP leaders, including Kishan Reddy and Eatala Rajender, are actively touring districts and attending preparatory meetings to bolster support for their candidate. However, there is ongoing discussion within the party regarding the impact of the campaign on graduate voters.

The BRS candidate is A Rakesh Reddy who was earlier the spokesperson of the BJP. This is causing concern in the saffron party as MLC elections are not contested on party symbols.

In the 2021 elections, Premender Reddy secured 39,107 votes. Despite the BJP not having a stronghold in Nalgonda and Khammam Lok Sabha constituencies, it provided a tough fight in Warangal and Bhongir.

The primary challenge for the BJP is to connect with graduates and secure their votes, a task that has reportedly not gone as planned. Meanwhile, both the BRS and Congress view the MLC election as a matter of prestige and are vigorously campaigning to win the seat. The Khammam-Warangal-Nalgonda MLC seat, currently held by the BRS, is crucial for Congress to strengthen its position in the Legislative Council.

Comparatively, the BJP’s campaign has been less intense, with leaders primarily meeting with voters in district headquarters and main town centres. In contrast, the BRS and Congress candidates are fully mobilising their efforts to win the seat.

There are concerns within the BJP regarding their campaign’s effectiveness at the grassroots level. Party leaders are hopeful that graduates who supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections will vote for their candidate. However, this optimism faces challenges from the aggressive campaigns of the opposing candidates, who are actively engaging with graduates on various issues.

Also, the enrolment of first-time voters, especially recent graduates, has been unsatisfactory, a concern for all parties. The BJP’s ground-level and second-tier leaders are urging senior leaders to intensify their grassroots campaign efforts to secure a win in the upcoming MLC byelection.

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The New Indian Express