Who will the educated pick? Bypoll to Telangana legislative council graduates’ constituency evokes interest

Election from graduates' constituencies is an important indicator of how the educated section of society reacts to the state government.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Apr 28, 2024 | 11:03 AM Updated Apr 28, 2024 | 11:46 AM

Teenmaar Mallanna. (Facebook)

Any election to the Telangana Legislative Council from graduates’ constituencies is an important indicator of how the educated section of society reacts to the incumbent dispensation in the state.

Now that the Election Commission (EC) has announced the schedule for the by-election to the Warangal-Nalgonda-Khammam graduates’ constituency, it is natural that one would watch the outcome of the election curiously as it might allow a peep into the mind of the educated sections.

The graduates’ seat fell vacant following the resignation of incumbent Palla Rajeswar Reddy consequent to his election to the Telangana Legislative Assembly from Janagaon in December last year.

The EC by-election will be held on 27 May and the receipt of nominations will begin on 2 May.

The total number of voters is 4,61,80 including 2,87,007 men. In other words, the election would reflect the opinion of graduates in three districts on the performance of the nascent Congress government.

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The Congress candidate

Though it is too early for Congress to have anti-incumbency because it is hardly more than three months in office, the verdict nonetheless, will give a pointer to likely grey areas and allow the government to take corrective measures to address the inadequacies in the areas that the graduates are concerned about.

The Congress has already announced its candidate for the by-poll, Chintapandu Naveen — also known as Teenmaar Mallanna — an ardent critic of BRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR).

He is very active on social media and was arrested several times by the previous KCR dispensation for his “derogatory’ posts on social media platforms. Mallanna contested in the election held for the seat in 2021 and came second, as an independent.

Though there was no hurry for the Congress to announce the candidate, it came out with his name for the by-election along with the names of the candidates to contest for Hyderabad, Karimnagar and Khammam Lok Sabha seats.

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To shed the Reddy image

The idea behind announcing the name for the graduates’ constituency appears to be to erase the impression that has gained currency lately that it had given priority to Reddys while announcing candidates for the Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress has nominated seven Reddys for 11 of the 17 Lok Sabha seats. Of the total 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana, three are reserved for SCs and two for the STs.

The Congress nominated a Muslim for the Hyderabad seat. The Congress probably wanted to send a message to the people before the Lok Sabha polls that it cared for the BCs and, therefore, fielded Mallanna for the graduates’ seat.

The other three parties are yet to announce their candidates. The BJP already has one MLC from the teachers’ constituency, AVN Reddy.

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BJP candidates

In the race for the by-election for the graduates’ constituency are BJP’s state general secretaries Gujjula Premender Reddy, Kasam Venkateswarlu and Secretary Prakash Reddy.

According to sources, Prakash Reddy appears to have the backing of the party’s state chief and Union Minister G Kishan Reddy and it remains to be seen whom the party would finally field.

Premender Reddy is hopeful of getting the party nomination as he contested and lost the election from this constituency in the past. Kasam Venkatesarlu believes the party would nominate him since he was denied an Assembly ticket from Alair and Lok Sabha nomination for Bhongir.

In the election to the Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda graduates’ constituency, the support of the left parties is a sine qua non as they have a significant presence in these districts.

That is probably the reason why Congress is warming up to the left parties. As both the CPI and CPI(M) are part of the INDIA bloc, the Congress hopes to get their support for its candidate.

Though the meeting that took place between Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy and CPI(M) leaders recently focused on persuading the Left party to withdraw its candidate from the fray in the Bhongir Lok Sabha constituency, it also served in fostering an understanding for the graduates’ polls.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)