Monday, May 16, 2022
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Telangana Bypolls: BJP's Victory In Huzurabad's 'Prestige Match' Proves Anti-Incumbency Against TRS

Etela Rajender had been winning from Huzurabad for the past five terms on Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) ticket. His emphatic win with 23,865 votes over TRS's Gelu Srinivas has upset many in the party.

Telangana Bypolls: BJP's Victory In Huzurabad's 'Prestige Match' Proves Anti-Incumbency Against TRS
Telangana CM and TRS leader K Chandrashekhar Rao PTI/File Photo

The BJP surge in the state of Telangana is now loud and clear as anti-incumbency against the ruling TRS appears to be on the rise if the Huzurabad bypoll result is of any indication. As a matter of fact, Etela Rajender had been winning from the constituency for the past five terms on Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) ticket. His emphatic win with 23,865 votes over TRS candidate Gelu Srinivas has upset many in the ruling TRS. Many describe Rajender's victory as a personal setback for Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who sent a battery of cabinet ministers against Rajender.

KCR's displeasure against Rajender, who till some time back was his deputy in the state, is well known. Rajender, who once was KCR’s deputy in the state cabinet, had staged an open revolt against KCR when he made his son K T Ramarao as the party’s working president, just before the 2018 assembly polls.

In order to skirt the allegations levelled by Rajender KCR had dropped his son KTR and his nephew T Harish Rao from the cabinet just before the assembly polls. However, soon after the polls, KCR re-inducted them into the cabinet. And he did not stop there. KCR removed Etela as the state Finance Minister and gave him charge of the Health Ministry instead. In the cabinet rejig KTR was given the powerful Urban Development and IT portfolios, and T Harish Rao was appointed the Finance Minister.

Rajender who was associated as associated with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao since he founded TRS, saw these moves as a personal snub. Rajender was shown the door this year in June when a few farmers alleged him to have illegally grabbed their lands.

Despite the best efforts put forth by the ruling TRS government, Etela’s victory as BJP nominee comes as a shot in the arm for the right-wing saffron party that has been working to emerge as the alternative to the TRS in time for the next round of assembly elections in Telangana. The pathetic display of the Congress in all the bypolls and civic body polls, including the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), clearly indicates that the challenge to TRS is only being posed by the BJP.

Many political analysts feel that though the bypoll outcome will not pose a threat to the ruling TRS government, it will come as a big blow not just for KCR but his nephew Harish Rao as well. It is no secret that T Harish Rao was aiming to succeed KCR, though the latter had declared his son KTR as his heir apparent. In that backdrop, Harish Rao, who was made the poll in-charge by KCR, has also suffered a setback. This is the second defeat for the party after it lost Dubbak to BJP last year where again Harish Rao was the poll incharge. MS Shanker

The BJP surge in the state of Telangana is now loud and clear as anti-incumbency against the ruling TRS appears to be on the rise, if the Huzurabad bypoll result is of any indication. As a matter of fact, Etela Rajender had been winning from the constituency for the past five terms on Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) ticket. His emphatic win with 23,865 votes over TRS candidate Gelu Srinivas has upset many in the ruling TRS. Many describe Rajender victory as a personal setback for Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who sent battery of cabinet ministers against Rajender.

KCR's displeasure against Rajender, who till some time back was his deputy in the state, is well known. Rajender, who once was KCR’s deputy in the state cabinet, had staged an open revolt against KCR when he made his son K T Ramarao as the party’s working president, just before the 2018 assembly polls.

In order to skirt the allegations levelled by Rajender KCR had dropped his son KTR and his nephew T Harish Rao from the cabinet just before the assembly polls. However, soon after the polls, KCR re-inducted them into the cabinet. And he did not stop there. KCR removed Etela as the state Finance Minister and gave him charge of the Health Ministry instead. In the cabinet rejig KTR was given the powerful Urban Development and IT portfolios, and T Harish Rao was appointed the Finance Minister.

Rajender who was associated as associated with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao since he founded TRS, saw these moves as a personal snub. Rajender was shown the door this year in June when a few farmers alleged him to have illegally grabbed their lands.

Despite the best efforts put forth by the ruling TRS government, Eatala’s victory as BJP nominee comes as a shot in the arm for the right-wing saffron party that has been working to emerge as the alternative to the TRS in time for the next round of assembly elections in Telangana. The pathetic display of the Congress in all the bypolls and civic body polls, including the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), clearly indicates that the challenge to TRS is only being posed by the BJP.

Many political analysts feel that though the bypoll outcome will not pose a threat to the ruling TRS government, it will come as a big blow not just for KCR but his nephew Harish Rao as well. It is no secret that T Harish Rao was aiming to succeed KCR, though the latter had declared his son KTR as his heir apparent. In that backdrop, Harish Rao, who was made the poll in-charge by KCR, has also suffered a setback. This is the second defeat for the party after it lost Dubbak to BJP last year where again Harish Rao was the poll incharge.

“Undoubtedly, Harish Rao’s position has become untenable. KCR cleverly trapped him to neutralize him in the party’s rank and profile,” admits a source close to KCR on condition of anonymity. The source said that the defeat has in no way weakened the party nor is it going to have any bearing on the image of KCR per se. Instead, KCR is going to turn the Huzurabad loss to his advantage and fulfill his ambition to see his son as the next chief minister of the state.

In any case the BJP looks pumped up. Its state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, who resumed the second leg of his padayatra recently, declared that his party is now unstoppable in the state. “KCR’s dirty tricks to lure the gullible Dalits with his "Dalit Bhandhu" as well as other welfare schemes just before polls, failed to convince the electorate. The electorate is angry across the state and I found this mood of anti-incumbency among people during my first leg of padayatra,” claimed the state BJP chief.

The BJP MP from Nizamabad, Dharmapuri Aravind appears more than confident of his party’s prospects in the state . “Watch out,” he says, “The ruling party is on the verge of a split as KCR has lost people’s confidence. The gap between KCR and people is getting further widened.”

Though the BJP has failed to give a fight in the Nagarjunsagar bypoll and other civic polls that were held after Dubbak, yet its efforts to knock the ruling party from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) from power, however, have been impactful. BJP won 48 out of the 150 wards. The TRS could bag only 56 against the 99 wards that it had won the last time. The ruling party could somehow retain the Post of the Mayor, thanks to MIM which won 44 wards.

“Undoubtedly, Harish Rao’s position has become untenable. KCR cleverly trapped him to neutralize him in the party’s rank and profile,” admits a source close to KCR on condition of anonymity. The source said that the defeat has in no way weakened the party nor is it going to have any bearing on the image of KCR per se. Instead, KCR is going to turn the Huzurabad loss to his advantage and fulfill his ambition to see his son as the next chief minister of the state.

In any case the BJP looks pumped up. Its state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, who resumed the second leg of his padayatra recently, declared that his party is now unstoppable in the state. “KCR’s dirty tricks to lure the gullible Dalits with his "Dalit Bhandhu" as well as other welfare schemes just before polls, failed to convince the electorate. The electorate is angry across the state and I found this mood of anti-incumbency among people during my first leg of padayatra,” claimed the state BJP chief.

The BJP MP from Nizamabad, Dharmapuri Aravind appears more than confident of his party’s prospects in the state . “Watch out,” he says, “The ruling party is on the verge of a split as KCR has lost people’s confidence. The gap between KCR and people is getting further widened.”

Though the BJP has failed to give a fight in the Nagarjunsagar bypoll and other civic polls that were held after Dubbak, yet its efforts to knock the ruling party from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) from power, however, have been impactful. BJP won 48 out of the 150 wards. The TRS could bag only 56 against the 99 wards that it had won the last time. The ruling party could somehow retain the Post of the Mayor, thanks to MIM which won 44 wards.

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