Will Gajwel retain bellwether seat record in 2023 election?

Will Gajwel retain bellwether seat record in 2023 election?

The political party that won this Assembly seat went on to form govt in every election since 1983

Gajwel: Gajwel Assembly constituency, located just 65 kilometres away from Hyderabad, hit the limelight in 2014 when Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao, president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (now Bharat Rashtra Samithi), chose to contest from here. Rao, who won the seat with 44 per cent votes and a margin of 19,391 votes against Vanteru Pratap Reddy of TDP in that election, went on to become the first Chief Minister of Telangana in June 2014. Thereafter, Gajwel turned into a VIP constituency and witnessed a lot of development including a ring road.

KCR, retained the seat in the 2018 Assembly polls with 60 per cent votes and a higher victory margin of 58,290 votes. Vanteru, who contested on Congress ticket that time,stood second place again. He later joined BRS in 2019. Incidentally, KCR’s farmhouse is also located in this constituency.

But Gajwel also enjoys another unique record as a bellwether constituency. The political party which won this Assembly seat went on to form government in every election since 1983. It retained this track record in the last nine elections!

In 1983 elections, Allam Sailu of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) won the seat which was then reserved for scheduled castes (SC).

It was the first election for TDP which stormed to power in a record time after its formation. TDP retained the seat in 1985 before losing it to Congress in 1989. Thereafter, TDP, Congress and TRS won the seat twice in a row respectively, coinciding with their time in power. Gajwel became a general seat in 2009.

The interesting question now is whether Gajwel will retain its unique track record of a bellwether seat in the upcoming 2023 Telangana Assembly polls slated for November 30. KCR is in the fray again, trying his luck for a third consecutive term as MLA from this seat and as Chief Minister too. He is also in the fray from Kamareddy constituency this time. Incidentally, no individual secured a third consecutive term as MLA from Gajwel since 1952.

However, Gajwel Saidiah of Congress won it three times –1962, 72 and 78.

This year’s election to the Gajwel constituency has attained more importance as KCR is facing Eatala Rajender of BJP.

Once a close confidante of KCR and senior minister in his Cabinet, Eatala joined BJP after he was abruptly dropped from the Telangana Cabinet in 2021 following allegations of land grabbing against him.

Eatala, who is also in fray from Huzurabad, has taken the political rivalry between them to KCR’s home turf now. Meanwhile, Congress fielded Narsa Reddy, who won from Gajwel in 2009. So, it’s a three-way contest in Gajwel this time. That makes this election more interesting and one has to wait till December 3 to know whether Gajwel will retain its bellwether tag.

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