The ruling Congress and the TDP drew a blank,the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) won four of the seven seats but it was the BJP that stole the show in the Andhra Pradesh bypolls,by winning the sole seat it contested in the heart of Telangana.
That Mahbubnagar is the backyard of TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao made the win so much more morale-boosting for the BJP,never mind the rather small margin of 2,010 votes by which its candidate,Y Srinivas Reddy,bettered the TRSs Ibrahim Syed.
Nagam Janardhana Reddy,an Independent backed by the TRS,won Nagarkurnool by 7,425 votes. N Prasanna Kumar Reddy of the YSR Congress,as expected,won Kovur,the only of the seven seats outside Telangana. The bypolls were necessitated due to the resignation of six Telangana legislators and the death of Congress MLA from Mahbubnagar. Polling was held on March 18.
Rao downplayed the loss in Mahbubnagar and said the sentiment for a Telangana state had not waned,but it was clear the defeat rankled celebrations at Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad came to an abrupt end as the result came in.