The Congress, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) shared the honours evenly by bagging one seat each in the elections to the Legislative Council from Hyderabad (2) and Ranga Reddy (1) Local Authorities' Constituencies on Monday.
M.S. Prabhakar Rao (Congress) and Syed Aminul Hasan Jaffri (MIM) enjoyed a cakewalk from the seats in Hyderabad, while M. Narender Reddy (TDP) scored an impressive victory from the lone seat in Ranga Reddy. The voters for these elections include GHMC corporators, municipal councillors, ZPTC and MPTC members, besides MPs and legislators.
In Hyderabad, the Congress nominee secured 69 votes out of a total of 157, the MIM 55 and the TDP only one vote while one vote was declared invalid. This one-sided contest was on account of the abstention from voting by as many as 30 voters owing allegiance to the TDP and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
In what was earlier expected to be a close contest in Ranga Reddy district, the TDP turned the tables on the Congress by securing 342 of the 644 votes polled while the latter polled 294 in a straight contest. Eight votes were rejected. The TDP, which holds the Ranga Reddy Zilla Parishad, proved that it continues to have a strong presence and a grassroots organisation.
Mr. Narender Reddy's victory over his Congress rival Kasani Gnaneswar, a backward classes leader, by a margin of 48 votes came as a setback to the plans of the ruling party to strengthen its base among the BC community. Group politics in the Congress party's district unit, one led by Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy and the other by district president K.M. Pratap and MLA K. Lakshma Reddy, are said to have worked at cross-purposes in the elections. “We have to identify the culprits within the party,” said Mr. Pratap on the result. Congress sources said the defeat did not come as surprise to the leadership as it was aware of the dissatisfaction among the rank and file over the selection of Mr. Gnaneswar, who was with the TDP till the other day.
The two candidates invested heavily in organising camps for their elected representatives in Bangalore and Goa and the TDP ultimately succeeded to keep its flock together. TDP district president M. Mahender Reddy, who along with senior leader T. Devender Goud, made all-out efforts, gave the credit to TDP's elected representatives who stayed united in the face of allurements offered by the Congress leaders.