Hyderabad: The announcement of Nagarjunasagar Assembly bypoll schedule by the Election Commission on Tuesday has heated up politics in Telangana state yet again. Though it’s a bypoll, the stakes are high for the three major parties.
For the TRS, a win in this election is a must to reaffirm its political supremacy especially after it suffered electoral setbacks at the hands of BJP in Dubbak and in the GHMC towards the end of last year.
The TRS cannot afford to lose its second bypoll in a row and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao had kickstarted the party's campaign on February 10 by addressing a public meeting in Halia in the constituency
For the Congress, this election is a do-or-die battle to prove that it's the principal opposition to the TRS and not the BJP.
For the BJP, a win in this election would mean that its stunning performance in Dubbak and the GHMC polls was not a fluke and its voter base is expanding faster across the state.
The Congress is at an advantage over other parties as it has decided the candidate — veteran former minister K. Jana Reddy — early in February. Jana Reddy holds the record of winning this seat seven times earlier, known to be the Congress bastion for long but lost to the TRS in 2018.
The TRS is yet to announce its candidate though party sources said that it's in favour of fielding a local BC leader from the Yadav community instead of relying on the ‘sympathy wave’ by fielding deceased MLA Nomula Narasimhaiah’s son Nomula Bharath.
Sources pointed out that the sympathy factor did not work for the TRS in Dubbak. Bharath hails from Palem village of Nakrekal mandal in Nalgonda district and is an ‘outsider’ and surveys commissioned by the TRS suggested that voters are favouring a ‘local Yadav’.
Chandrashekar Rao is learnt to be in favour of Katteboyina Guravaiah Yadav of Nidamanuru mandal in the Nagarjunasagar constituency.
The BJP is waiting for the TRS to announce its candidate. The fact is that the BJP does not have a strong candidate, unlike in Dubbak. It is hoping that strong contenders who fail to get the TRS ticket would jump to the BJP so that it can field one of them.