Secunderabad Cantonment bypoll: Years of legacy of G Sayanna loses; will fight for merger with GHMC, says Sri Ganesh

The Cantonment Assembly segment in Telangana falls under the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency of the state.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Jun 05, 2024 | 1:01 AMUpdatedJun 05, 2024 | 6:49 AM

Revanth Reddy felicitates Sri Ganesh

In Telangana, the Secunderabad Cantonment Schedule Caste (SC)-reserved Assembly Constituency had gone for by-poll as incumbent MLA G Lasya Nanditha, who won the seat in the 2023 Telangana Assembly elections, subsequently passed away in a road accident.

According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), the constituency comprises more than 2.51 lakh voters.

Because of the Lok Sabha elections, also electorate of this constituency had to cast two votes.

The Cantonment Assembly seat falls under the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency.

As the results were counted on Tuesday, 4 June, the Cantonment Assembly constituency of Hyderabad in Telangana saw two national parties win.

In the Assembly by-poll of Cantonment, the people chose Sri Ganesh from Congress, giving him 53,651 votes, followed by Dr Vamsha Tilak of BJP (40,445) and Niveditha Sayanna (34,462 votes).

However, the Lok Sabha constituency it comes under is Malkajgiri, and BJP’s Eatala Rajender won it by a majority of 39,1475 against Congress’ Patnam Suneetha Mahender Reddy.

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‘Memorable’

Sri Ganesh has contested from BJP at least twice from the same seat now: In 2018, he came third with 15,487 votes and in 2023, he stood second with 41,888 votes as Laasya Nanditha won by 59,057 votes.

When South First approached Sri Ganesh, he shared a video message that said, “It has been a 15-year dream to at least become an MLA.”

He added: “This 4 June was memorable as I won and I thank Chief Minister Revanth Reddy for giving me a chance and the people of Cantonment for voting.”

He also said: “I pray that the late Sayanna and his daughter Laasya Nanditha’s souls rest in peace.”

Sri Ganesh went on to say: “I have lost twice, but never stayed away from the public because the Cantonment seat faced issues and I extended my help.”

He added: “We will be forward and fulfil the promises as Cantonment has been backward, we will provide education to the underprivileged. We will protest for the merger of Cantonment into GHMC if need I will go on hunger strike in Delhi.”

BJP’s Dr Vamsha Tilak — a new name to contest — secured the second position to the well-known G Sayanna, who has won as an MLA for the Cantonment for years before daughter G Niveditha.

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What went wrong for BRS?

As G Niveditha’s younger sibling met with a road accident and died on the spot, she took some time and decided to contest in the by-poll.

The teary-eyed Niveditha campaigned widely in the Cantonment Assembly area and went door to door to ask people for votes.

However, her father’s years-long legacy was given a break, as was evident from the results.

Sanki Ravinder — a member of Vikas Manch, an NGO that is fighting for the merger of Cantonment into the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) — explained: “In 2023 the half wave was towards BRS and also Sayanna’s daughter has sympathy.”

Thus was Laasya chosen, but Congress Revanth Reddy became the chief minister of Telangana, and then the accident took place.

Revanth was an MP from Malkajgiri and had been advocating for issues plaguing the Cantonment Assembly seat.

He was a member of the Defence Standing Committee and made efforts to build toilets and houses for the poor, but the restrictions of the Cantonment Board stood in the way.

As he represented the constituency, in a way of sorts, the people thought he knew the problems better.

Another reason is that any issue gets resolved if there is a local government leader. In the Cantonment seat, it is Sri Ganesh from Congress, and the votes go to him easily.

“Every resident’s main agenda is to enjoy the advantages of people who are under the GHMC, and it was the promise of Sri Ganesh and Chief Minister Revanth Reddy; so the win was predicted,” said locals.

“I am happy that — as part of the Telangana’s Congress government — we are celebrating 100 days [of governance],” said local leaders.

“Congress has won eight seats and also the bypoll to the Cantonment Assembly seat,” they noted.

“With the blessings of the people, we pledge to be more effective in our governance,” added the Congress leaders.

(Edited by Arkadev Ghoshal)