The massive victory of Surabhi Vani Devi and Palls Rejeshwar Reddy, in the MLC elections under Hyderabad-Ranga Reddy-Mahabubnagar and Warangal-Nalgonda-Khammam graduates’ constituencies becomes a sort of morale booster for the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.

Putting a brake to the winning spree of BJP, the TRS party has bagged both the MLC seats under the Graduates’ Constituency quota.

Academician and social activist Surabhi Vani Devi of TRS was a last minute entry into the electoral battle and won over N Ramchander Rao of BJP from Mahbubnagar- Rangareddy- Hyderabad with an impressive margin. She will be making her maiden entry as a legislator soon.

Palla Rajeshwar Reddy despite being a strong and influential candidate had to virtually sweat it out to retain his seat from Warangal- Khammam- Nalgonda graduates’ constituency. Independent candidate Teenmaar Mallanna gave a tough fight to him till the last minute.

The fight was a keen one between the TRS and the opposition parties particularly the BJP. The TRS campaign has been aggressive against the BJP saying that it was the BJP government at the Centre which failed to create employment and was now even trying to sell away the public sector undertakings. The pink party’s well-planned strategy of making all ministers and MLAs jump into the campaign for the party candidates paid dividends.

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Putting a brave face, BJP candidate N Ramchander Rao from Mahbubnagar- Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad constituency said that though technically the BJP had won, the total votes polled indicates that about 70 per cent of the voters voted against the government. Vani Devi had won over him with a margin of 36,580 votes. He alleged that the ruling party had violated the poll code all through and had even distributed huge money tucked neatly in envelopes.

It was a nerve wracking four day ordeal for the candidates as the fortunes were seen swinging. The process of counting was slow due to the complicated process. Both Vani and Palla had established clear leads against their nearest rival candidates. Teenmar Mallanna, independent, gave a tough fight to Palla till the last minute.

The suspense became more intense by the time the first preference votes were counted as neither the TRS nor the BJP candidates could get more than half of the votes in the first preferential voting. Following this, the officials went ahead with the counting of second priority votes eliminating the contestants who had polled lesser votes than the others. Tension continued till the elimination of 89 candidates as both the TRS and BJP candidates were seen to be in close contest.

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Prof K Nageshwar, who contested as an independent candidate, polled 59,648 votes followed by Congress leader Chinna Reddy who polled 36,726 votes. The other candidates from the TDP L Ramana, independent candidate Harshavardhan and others were eliminated subsequently.

In the Nalgonda- Warangal- Khammam graduates’ constituency, no candidates polled more than half of the votes resulting in the officials taking up the counting of second priority votes. A total of 3,87,969 votes were polled and 21,636 were declared invalid votes, making the total valid votes polled as 3,66,333.

Of this, the TRS candidate polled 1,10,840 votes, followed by Teenmar Mallanna 83,290 votes, Prof Kodanda Ram with 70,072 votes and BJP candidate Gujjala Premender Reddy polled 44,010 votes. The Congress candidate S Ramulu Naik has polled 27,588 votes. At the end of the first round of counting the TRS candidate had established a 27,550 vote lead against his nearest independent candidate Mallanna.

Speaking to #KhabarLive, Mallana said votes cast in his favour reflects the people’s anger at the ruling government’s anti-people policies. He stated that winning or losing is common in politics and added that he will continue to fight against the government on people’s issues and will bring the scams to limelight to show the true colours of ruling party leaders.

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The TRS, which was in low spirits after the loss of sitting seat to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Dubbak assembly by-elections held in December and the subsequent poor show in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections, bounced back in the MLC elections.

The fact that it wrested the MLC seat from sitting candidate N Ramachandra Rao of the BJP is a sort of tit-for-tat by the TRS. Now, the BJP doesn’t have any representation in the legislative council.

The TRS took these MLC elections very prestigiously because they reflect the mood of the educated voters and a defeat would definitely have its impact on the forthcoming by-election to Nagarjunasagar assembly seat to be held on April 17, besides ensuing elections to Khammam and Warangal municipal corporations.

KCR pulled out all stops to win the MLC elections by roping in all its ministers and MLAs into the campaign.

The choice of Vani Devi was a strategic move at a time when the state has been celebrating the birth centenary year of Narasimha Rao.

It successfully garnered the support of intellectuals, academics, teachers and of course state government employees. #KhabarLive #hydnews

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A senior journalist having 25 years of experience in national and international publications and media houses across the globe in various positions. A multi-lingual personality with desk multi-tasking skills. He belongs to Hyderabad in India. Ahssanuddin's work is driven by his desire to create clarity, connection, and a shared sense of purpose through the power of the written word. His background as an writer informs his approach to writing. Years of analyzing text and building news means that adapting to a reporting voice, tone, and unique needs comes as second nature.