Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy won comfortably from the Nandyal Assembly constituency, defeating YSRCP candidate Silpa Chandra Mohan Reddy with a margin of over 27,000 votes.
With one more round of counting pending, TDP’s Brahmananda Reddy polled 97,106 votes at the end of round 18, while YSRCP’s Chandra Mohan Reddy polled 69,810. Congress’ Abdul Khader polled 1153 votes. The TDP won in Nandyal for the first time after 1999.
Although a tough contest was expected between ruling TDP and Opposition YSRCP, the latter’s choice of candidate may have spoiled its chances. Silpa Chandra Mohan Reddy was a TDP rebel who quit the party on June 13 and joined YSRCP, just before the bypoll date was announced.
Kurnool district YSRCP leaders were not too happy with Chandra Mohan Reddy getting the ticket and did not fully support him, a YSRCP leader said. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and YSRCP chief Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy made it a prestige issue with Jagan even suggesting that the result would be a referendum on the TDP government and Chandrababu Naidu. “People have voted for TDP which represents good governance and development,” said Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy.
YSRCP candidate Silpa Chandra Mohan Reddy said he could not campaign properly due to bad health. “My health did not permit me to campaign as I would have liked to and it could be one of the reasons for my defeat. I respect the people’s verdict,” he said.
The bye-election to the Nandyal Assembly seat had set off a bitter and ugly confrontation between CM Naidu and Jagan.
Jagan was upset over YSRCP MLA from Nandyal, Bhuma Nagi Reddy’s defecting to TDP last February. It was his death on March 12 which necessitated the bypoll. Nagi Reddy’s daughter Akhila Priya, who was elected on YSRCP ticket from the neighbouring Allagadda constituency, also defected to the TDP. She was made the Tourism and Culture Minister in N Chandrababu Naidu’s Cabinet after the demise of her father.
This infuriated Jagan further as he launched a vitriolic attack on the CM. YSRCP admitted Chandra Mohan Reddy, 57, into the party because he won from Nandyala twice in 2004 and 2009. However, he lost to Brahmananda Reddy, a 32-year-old political novice.