ANDHRA PRADESH

Congress consolidates its position

All smiles: Congress candidate P. Vishnuvardhan Reddy is all smiles after winning the Jubilee Hills Assembly seat on Saturday.

All smiles: Congress candidate P. Vishnuvardhan Reddy is all smiles after winning the Jubilee Hills Assembly seat on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: -PHOTO: K. RAMESH BABU

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The Congress which contested all the 29 seats in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts had further strengthened its position by winning 14 seats in the elections. A surprising development was the victory of the party’s rebel candidate Qutbullapur, K. Srisailam Goud taking the tally to 15 seats.

Though technically the ruling party fielded candidates in all the seats, it’s an open secret that it had fielded candidates in old city just to split the votes to ensure the victory of the MIM candidates in seven segments.

That would mean that barring the five seats bagged by the Telugu Desam in Ranga Reddy, one seat each by the BJP and Lok Satta, it had won all the remaining seats.

Another feather in the cap of the Congress in these two districts is the winning of three Lok Sabha seats in Malkajgiri, Chevella and Secunderabad, while its ‘undeclared ally’, the MIM retained the Hyderabad seat.

Victorious

Congress candidate Sarvey Satyanarayana emerged victorious in the newly formed Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency, which saw a keen multi-cornered contest.

Telugu Desam nominee T. Bheemsen, T. Devender Goud of Praja Rajyam and N. Indrasena Reddy of Bharatiya Janata Party were the serious contenders.

But the result came as a surprise with the TD candidate standing at second position, pushing the BJP and PR candidates to third and fourth positions respectively. Of the main political parties, only Congress and TD have a strong network in all the seven Assembly segments.

Thus, the main contest was between Mr. Satyanarayana and Mr. Bheemsen.

However, the Congress nominee was at advantage since some Assembly segments were part of the erstwhile Siddipet which he earlier represented.

Being an articulate leader, nature of easily mingling with the cadre and contact with the locals by virtue of sitting MP, were his other plus points.

Described as an outsider, the TD contestant was new to the constituency. He relied heavily on the party supreme N. Chandrababu Naidu’s charisma and its election-time cash transfer scheme and colour TV distribution promise.

Except Kukatpally, the Congress nominees in the remaining six Assembly constituencies were strong and won with convincing majority making it a cakewalk for Mr. Satyanarayana.

Surprisingly, the BJP which had strong base in Kukatpally could secure much less votes compared to its rivals.

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