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Friday, December 03, 2021

Huzurabad bypoll: BJP pins hopes on Rajender’s popularity, TRS on govt welfare schemes

A win for BJP in Huzurabad will strengthen its campaign to emerge as the main challenger to TRS and save Rajender's political career. A TRS victory would help CM K Chandrasekhar Rao gain momentum for the next elections.

Written by Rahul V Pisharody | Hyderabad |
Updated: November 1, 2021 9:41:54 pm
HuzurabadThe bye-election was necessitated after Eatala Rajender, a senior leader and Health Minister, resigned as MLA and quit the TRS party in June 2021

In Huzurabad, where bypolls were held on Saturday, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and BJP are locked in a high-stakes contest. While TRS feels that the high polling percentage—the constituency recorded 86.6 per cent voter turnout which is better than the 84.4 per cent during the December 2018 election—is a sign of support for its welfare schemes, BJP hopes that people are rallying behind Eatala Rajender.

After suffering a setback in last year’s Dubbaka bypoll at the hands of BJP, TRS had comfortably won the recent Nagarjunasagar byelection earlier this year.

The results of the bypoll will be known by Tuesday evening.

A win for BJP in Huzurabad will strengthen its campaign to emerge as the main challenger to TRS and save Rajender’s political career. A TRS victory would help CM K Chandrasekhar Rao assert his superiority and gain momentum for the next elections in December 2023.

TRS has a brute majority of 103 in the 119-member assembly.

Chief Electoral Officer Shashak Goel on Monday said that no victory procession would be allowed and that only two persons can accompany the winning candidate to receive the certificate of election from the returning officer.

The bypolls was necessitated due to Rajender’s resignation on June 4 from the TRS party and his MLA post after being dropped unceremoniously from the cabinet on May 1 over allegations of land grabbing by a company owned by his family.

Rajender, a six-time MLA and a strong leader from a backward caste with no track record of corruption, has represented Huzurabad for four terms since 2009 without much cause for complaints.

With Rajender now in BJP, the saffron party which polled fewer votes than NOTA here in the last general elections is confident of cashing in on the former’s popularity.

TRS candidate Gellu Srinivas Yadav, president of the TRS’ student wing and a debutant in assembly elections, on Monday visited Bhadrakali temple in Warangal and offered prayers.

Various post-poll surveys aired on regional TV channels have given Rajender an edge over the TRS. After unverified reports of a private vehicle having been used for shifting EVMs and VVPAT units emerged, Chief Returning Officer Ch Ravinder Reddy told reporters not to believe in rumours spread on social media.

BJP had lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer regarding the matter.

Rajender alleged that the district administration failed to protect the EVMs and prevented them from being shifted by TRS activists. Earlier too, he had alleged that police and departmental staff were used by the TRS to distribute cash and liquor to the people. He reiterated that police have given security to those who “mocked democracy”.

Out of the 2.37 lakh voters, 2.35 lakh exercised their franchise in Huzurabad.

Meanwhile, the Congress party, which had earlier requested the Election Commission to cancel the Huzurabad bypoll, launched a massive digital membership drive at PCC headquarters Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad.

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