Apart from Telangana sentiment, leaders concede that a major section of the people hailing from Seemandhra voted with vengeance against the Congress for dividing the State

Has the Congress lost the Chevella Lok Sabha seat, viewed as one of the safe seats for the party to emotional voting?

Former Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy whose son P. Karthik Reddy made his political debut contesting from the seat feels so. According to her, it was emotional voting which happened this time and things changed significantly in TRS favour in the last three days.

Chevella was an assembly constituency nurtured by former Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy before she moved to Maheswaram in 2009 elections but her family held sway over the electorate in the constituency since the days of her late husband and popular political leader Indra Reddy.

Coming from such a background and parentage, Mr. Karthik Reddy, the Congress candidate, was expected to pull it off, albeit by lower margin. However he lost to TRS candidate Konda Vishweshar Reddy who made his debut with a margin of about 73,000 votes.

Congress leaders point out that a couple of issues had caused party’s debacle in the constituency. A senior leader wishing anonymity pointed out that strong presence of TJAC in the constituency spread across seven segments worked to the advantage of the TRS candidate. “KCR’s promise to give Government employees salaries on par with their counterparts in Union Government also tilted the balance in TRS favour,” the leader remarked.

Apart from Telangana sentiment, leaders concede that a major section of the people hailing from Seemandhra in urban constituencies like Maheswaram, Rajendranagar and Serilingampally voted with vengeance against the Congress for dividing the State. The Modi factor was clearly visibly in the urban constituencies, the senior leader said pointing out that he was witness to an old woman in a rural polling booth pulling up a polling official why there was no BJP symbol in EVM in that constituency.

What worked in favour in the favour of Mr. Vishveshwar Reddy was party’s strong candidates and senior leaders in three constituencies Mahender Reddy, K. S. Ratnam and Harishwar Reddy who put up a good show, sources said. “There are so many lacunae in the selection of candidates by the Congress and TDP that made the TRS win possible in Chevella despite significant presence of voters from Seemandhra and outside the State,” they added.

Sources close to Ms. Sabitha Reddy said pre-poll announcements about Dalit or mahila Chief Minister for Telangana also made senior leaders to just focus on their own constituencies and keep aloof. The decision of party high command to limit party ticket to only one member in a family saw Ms. Sabitha Reddy being left out though her presence would have made much difference to the election outcome in Chevella, sources said. Similarly had the party given ticket to Malreddy Ranga Reddy or Palvai Govardhan Reddy’s daughter to name a few, party easily would have got more seats.

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