Defeats BJP’s K. Laxman by 2,075 votes
Congress candidate Manemma polls 34,795 votes, BJP’s Laxman gets 32,720
Incumbent Telangana Rashtra Samiti MLA
N. Narasimha Reddy polls 19,867 votes
HYDERABAD: The Congress regained the Musheerabad Assembly seat after a gap of two terms when party candidate T. Manemma trounced BJP’s K. Laxman with a margin of 2,075 votes in the byelection held on Thursday.
In a keenly contested poll, Ms. Manemma polled 34,795 votes as against 32,720 by Mr. Laxman. The incumbent Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) legislator Nayini Narasimha Reddy came a poor third securing 19,867 votes. CPI (M) candidate S. Veeraiah, who fought the election with the support of TDP, polled 16,618 votes. At total of 1,11, 326 valid votes were cast and nine votes were rejected.
Counting for the bypoll held on Sunday saw a neck-and-neck race between the Congress and the BJP candidates.
In fact Mr. Laxman established an early lead from the first round itself and led over his immediate rival till the sixth round by a slender margin.
However, in the seventh round, Ms. Manemma turned the tables and forged ahead establishing a lead of 1,646 votes.
In the next round also she kept ahead but in the 9th round her lead dropped by 243 votes. From then onwards it was close fight between the two.Though Mr. Laxman kept chipping into his rival’s lead in the 12th, 13th and 14th rounds, he never really overtook her. The tense race ended in the 17th round with Ms. Manemma racing ahead and finishing off by 2,075 votes.
A jubilant Manemma, who arrived at the Amberpet indoor stadium where the counting took place, termed her victory as a triumph of people. She gave the credit to the development works taken up by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and her late husband T. Anjaiah. She also thanked M. Mukesh Goud (Minister), Anjan Kumar Yadav (MP), D. Nagender, president, Greater Hyderabad City Congress, for working for her victory.Mr. Narasimha Reddy charged the Congress with luring the electorate with money and liquor. The police worked as Congress volunteers, he alleged.
The BJP too resorted to the same tactics. Besides, all its front organisations concentrated in Musheerabad. Otherwise, it would not have got even the votes it secured now, he said.
Mr. Veeraiah of the CPI (M) said it was not the Congress but money power which had won in the election.