Nagarjunasagar by-poll: TRS, BJP still hunting for candidates

Hyderabad: With the MLC elections (graduates constituency) finally ending, the spotlight is back on the Nagarjunasagar by-poll, which is likely to hint where the wind will blow politically in the coming future. It will held on April 17.

Winning the seat will be crucial for the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been staking claim as an alternative to the TRS in Telangana. The BJP has in fact been pushing its aggressive Hindutva agenda, ever since it won 48 plus seats in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls last year.

However, ironically, it is the Congress that is in fact in the driver’s seat, given that it has already announced veteran leader and former MLA Jana Reddy as its candidate. The TRS has still not announced a name, while the BJP is silently waiting to make a move once the former picks a candidate to contest the Nagarjunasagar by-poll.

“Jana Reddy’s son wanted to contest earlier, so there was some issue. They are currently campaigning a lot, especially on social media,” said a senior Congress leader, who did not want to be quoted. Earlier, rumours were afloat that Jana Reddy was mulling to quit the Congress and join the TRS or BJP.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case now. The TRS in fact has also not found a face for itself. The Nagarjunasagar by-poll was necessitated after Nomula Narsamaiah passed away last year. The deceased MLA won the seat in the 2018 state polls, securing 83,655 against Jana Reddy, who got 75,884 votes.

BJP’s conundrum

In the 2018 state elections, BJP’s candidate Nivedita reddy’s came fourth place, with her numbers being 2,675 only. The saffron party has been in high spirits ever since it won the Dubbak by-poll last year, also since it won 48 seats.

However, the Nagarjunasagar by-poll is a different ball game, given that in Dubbak BJP’s Raghunandan Rao was a known face, who had been contesting from much earlier. While the situation here is different, the loss at Dubbak was in fact a major loss of face for the TRS, as the seat in just beside that of chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s (Gajwel).

“We have not yet zeroed in on a name, and we will wait till the TRS announces a candidate,” said a BJP leader, who did not want to be quoted. He added that the party will take a decision considering caste factors once the TRS announces its name.

The TRS on the other hand is trying to ensure that it does not lose again, especially to the BJP. “What does the BJP have in villages? They have no base there at all,” a party leader told, unwilling to accept that the BJP will prove to be a match.

Political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy said that the upcoming Nagarjunasagar by-election will indeed be crucial for the TRS, and opined that it will not be as easy for the BJP as well. “They don’t have a good candidate. Moreover, for the Congress, if they win it, it will only show that they are still around,” he added.

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