Congress, BRS and BJP turn to graduates’ constituency MLC by-election in Telangana on 27 May

The Telangana by-election was necessitated because sitting BRS MLC Palla Rajeswara Reddy resigned after being elected to the Assembly.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published May 16, 2024 | 10:18 AMUpdatedMay 16, 2024 | 7:44 PM

Telangana MLC by-election candidates: Congress' Teenmaar Mallanna, BRS' A Rakesh Reddy, and BJP's Gujjula Premender Reddy.

As dust that rose in the wake of campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections begins to settle down, Telangana’s three principal political parties — Congress, BRS, and BJP — have now turned their attention to the 27 May MLC by-election from the Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda graduates’ constituency.

The bypoll has become important as it is expected to allow a peep into the minds of the educated section as to which party it is veering to in the wake of acrimonious campaigning for Lok Sabha polls.

The MLC by-election was necessitated by the resignation of sitting BRS MLC Palla Rajeswara Reddy because he was elected to the Telangana Legislative Assembly.

The total number of voters in the constituency 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 in the state.

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Congress’ MLC by-election calculations

Congress was the first to announce the name of Chintapandu Naveen alias Teenmar Mallanna for the seat even before the closure of nominations for Lok Sabha elections in the state, in anticipation of mobilising voters from the backward classes (BCs) to support its candidates in the Lok Sabha elections.

The announcement came so early as the party faced flak for allegedly allotting tickets to very few BC candidates in the Lok Sabha elections.

As Teenmar Mallanna belongs to the Munnuru Kapu community, which is a BC-D caste, his nomination to the Council was seen as helping Congress in the Lok Sabha polls.

For the parliamentary elections, Congress nominated seven Reddys for 12 of the 17 seats in Telangana. Of the remaining five seats, three are reserved for scheduled castes (SCs) and two for scheduled tribes (STs).

Teenmaar Mallanna is an ardent critic of BRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao and is very active on social media platforms. He was arrested several times by the previous KCR dispensation for his “derogatory” posts.

Mallanna contested in the Telangana MLC election held in 2021 as an independent and came in second.

Though it is too early for Congress to have anti-incumbency because it has not even been six months since it assumed power, 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.

Congress’ prospects are seen bright since the party performed very well in the Assembly segments in the three districts that constitute the graduates’ constituency that will see the bypoll.

It won 33 of the 34 Assembly seats in the last Assembly elections in the Warangal, Khammam, and Nalgonda districts.

Chief Minister and Telangana PCC president A Revanth Reddy held a meeting with the party leaders of the three districts recently to defeat BRS in the Telangana MLC by-election.

He asked the leaders to see to it that there was no let-up in the momentum that the party’s victory in the Assembly elections had generated.

Also Read: Political parties in Telangana claim favourable verdict

BRS and BJP

Meanwhile, BRS working president KT Rama Rao, who has taken a very active role in campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, hit the ground running by sensitising the party leaders for the Legislative Council election at Telangana Bhavan on Wednesday, 15 May.

The party has fielded A Rakesh Reddy, who joined BRS from BJP ahead of last year’s Telangana Assembly elections.

In fact, even before BRS announced his candidature, Rakesh Reddy had been working unobtrusively to establish a connection with the voters in the constituency.

KTR, after a meeting with party leaders on preparations for the MLC by-elections, spoke highly of Rakesh Reddy.

He said the MLC candidate was not only highly educated but also represented the present generation. He sounded confident that Rakesh Reddy would be able to win the seat.

KTR is also understood to have told the leaders at the sensitisation programme at the party office that they should make it their personal responsibility to see that the setbacks BRS suffered in the Assembly elections did not cloud the party’s prospects of retaining the seat.

He wanted them to fight to help the party regain its glory. He asked them to actively participate in the campaigning, with the same spirit they exhibited in the Lok Sabha elections.

There would be Assembly-segment-wise meetings from Thursday where the strategy for impressing the voters to win the by-election would be chalked out.

BJP, meanwhile, has fielded Gujjula Premender Reddy for the by-election to wrest the Telangana MLC seat from BRS.

The saffron party leaders hope that the ongoing Lok Sabah elections, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being projected as a supernova, would have a salubrious impact on the MLC election as well.

Union minister G Kishan Reddy held a meeting with BJP leaders recently on the strategy to win the seat by taking full advantage of the growing perception that BJP is poised to win big in the Lok Sabha elections for the third time.

(Edited by Arkadev Ghoshal)