Dubbaka: In a major upset for the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) snatched the Dubbaka seat from the TRS, albeit with a majority of 1,470 votes. The contest was dominated by the BJP in almost all the rounds of counting.
At Dubbaka, the total votes polled on November 3 were 1,64, 192. While the number of votes polled in favor of the BJP’s M. Raghunandan Rao stood at 62,772. The ruling-TRS’s candidate Solipeta Sujatha secured 61,302 votes.
Congress party’s candidate Cheruku Sudhakar stood far behind, but in third place with 21,819 votes.
The numbers this time indicate that votes polled were transferred from the TRS to BJP, as compared to the last election. In the past election held in 2018, the former MLA from TRS, Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy secured 89,299 votes.
BJP’s M Raghunandan Rao established lead from the early rounds of counting and maintained a close contest with the ruling-TRS candidate Solipeta Sujatha, who could only take lead in a handful of rounds.
The by-election to Dubbaka was necessitated following the death of sitting TRS MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy. His wife Sujatha was then fielded to contest the by-poll and was assured of the victory by the ruling TRS.
State Finance Minister and Siddipet MLA T. Harish Rao, who was in charge of the campaigning, was tasked to fetch over one lakh votes by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. The Constituency lies in close proximity with KCR’s Constituency Gajwel and IT Minister KT Rama Rao’s Siricilla. For all of them, the result is a mighty personal humiliation, even as the party lost by a close margin.
BJP candidate Raghunandan Rao turned the geographical location of Dubbaka to his advantage, telling people how the constituency remained under-developed, while the adjacent constituencies represented by KCR’s family members flourished.
The BJP also cashed in on the resentment among the people of several villages of Dubbaka which are going to be submerged under Mallanna Sagar reservoir as part of Kaleshwaram project.
The results are also likely to have an impact in the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal (GHMC) elections too. While the TRS refuses to acknowledge both BJP and Congress as its political opponents in the state, the domination by the BJP at Dubbak speaks otherwise. The Congress’ performance at by-poll almost makes it irrelevant to consider it a competition against the duo.
TRS working president K T Rama Rao said his party would respect the people’s verdict and do a thorough introspection of what had gone wrong in Dubbaka. “We don’t get jubilant with victories nor do we get upset with defeats. But definitely, the Dubbaka result is a wake-up call to the party leaders and cadre,” he said.
Naturally, there were celebrations by BJP cadres all over the state. “We dedicate this victory to the soul of the party worker who died by suicide by immolating himself at the party headquarters in Hyderabad ahead of polling on November 3,” BJP state president Bandi Sanjay said. BJP candidate Raghunandan Rao thanked the voters of Dubbaka and said they had displayed tremendous maturity in rejecting the ruling party.