ANDHRA PRADESH

TRS’ gamble fails to pay off

N. Rahul

HYDERABAD: The gamble played by Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao by triggering off the byelections failed to pay off. He staked highly on the roulette table expecting that the needle would stop at the figure 17, but the voters intervened to stop it at seven.

Out of the nine districts in Telangana that went to the polls, the TRS failed to make its presence felt in five – Hyderabad, Adilabad, Nizamabad, Mahabubnagar and Rangareddy. The TRS now has a presence in only four districts -- Karimnagar, Warangal, Medak and Nalgonda and will have to face the embarrassment of having less members in the Assembly than the ten-member strong group of party rebels.

TRS candidates stood third in Jadcharla, Vikarabad, Secunderabad, Khairatabad, Dichpally, Khanapur, Musheerabad and Station Ghanpur Assembly constituencies and in Adilabad and Warangal Lok Sabha seats. A five-time winner and former Minister A. Chandrasekhar forfeited deposit in Vikarabad (SC) constituency.

The only consolation for the party was the huge increase in the winning margin of its candidate from Siddipet Assembly constituency T. Harish Rao from 24,000 to 58,000 votes. A paradox to this show was the slim victory margin of 15,000 votes secured by Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao in Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency. Mr. Rao did not even collect the certificate of election from the Returning Officer and left the task to an aide.

Sombre look

Telangana Bhavan, headquarters of the TRS, wore a sombre look after the results were announced. Partymen, however, converged at the residence of Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao after reports that he proposed to step down as party chief.

Analysing the result, Mr. Harish Rao attributed the TRS’ performance to the party’s failure to effectively convey to voters the reasons for the resignation of its MPs and MLAs. The party won wherever the message reached electorate. Nonetheless, he said, the TRS won a moral victory as Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu declared during their campaign that they were not opposed to separate Telangana.

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