TRS floats on top as Congress sinks further

TRS floats on top as Congress sinks furtherTRS leaders celebrate after Pochampally Srinivas Reddy’s win in the Council elections in Warangal
Highlights

While the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) reigned its supremacy in the election to the Legislative Council seat under Warangal Local Authorities’ Constituency with a thumping win, its other way around for the Congress as it sank further even failing to cling on to its own voters.

Warangal: While the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) reigned its supremacy in the election to the Legislative Council seat under Warangal Local Authorities' Constituency with a thumping win, its other way around for the Congress as it sank further even failing to cling on to its own voters.

The win in Warangal and other two Council seats – Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar – on Monday is seen as a booster dose for the TRS especially after it failed to put up an impressive performance in the Lok Sabha elections. Prior to that, the TRS had also lost the elections to the three Legislative Council seats in March.

Although Warangal is known as a bastion for the TRS, the two successive setbacks have come like a huge shock for the ruling party, which predicted a sort of cakewalk in Lok Sabha and Council polls, especially after its landslide victory in the Assembly elections in December. Right from the word go since the Election Commission had announced the notification to fill the vacant Warangal Local Authorities' Constituency seat last month, the TRS leadership started to manoeuvre the representatives of local bodies who form the electoral district for the Local Authorities' Constituency.

Although the numbers – more than 700 in total of 902 electorates – favoured it lopsidedly, the TRS leadership took extreme care to get them onboard to ensure the victory of its candidate Pochampally Srinivas Reddy, fondly known as Varikole Srinivas Reddy. In fact, the ruling party had targeted entire electoral district not letting an iota of opportunity for the Congress candidate Engala Venkat Ram Reddy to make any attempt to win the seat. As part of the game plan, the TRS had organised camps for the local body representatives and took them directly to the polling stations on May 31 so that they could not slip out of the hand.

The legislators – D Vinay Bhaskar, Nannapuneni Narender, Aroori Ramesh - and the newly elected Mayor Gunda Prakash Rao led by Minister for Panchayat Raj Errabelli Dayakar Rao threw their weight around the TRS candidate Pochampally Srinivas Reddy and ensured his victory.

Despite Varikole Srinivas Reddy's comprehensive win, the TRS leaders, it's learnt, are a bit tense over the outcome of parishad polls. The counting of parishad votes is scheduled for Tuesday (June 4).

"With too many rebel TRS candidates are in the ZPTC and MPTC election fray, the leadership appears to be a bit sceptical about the results. It's also a sort of litmus test for the TRS legislators who are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring party candidates' win in their backyard," a senior TRS leader told The Hans India.

Meanwhile, the Congress camp, which believed that it has the support of at least 171 voters, is shell shocked over its candidate Engala Venkat Ram Reddy getting a paltry 23 votes. "This certainly been seen as a worrying factor for the party," a senior Congress leader said.

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