HYDERABAD: The TRS has reportedly finalised K. Prabhakar Reddy as its candidate for the Munugode byelection, upholding its tradition of nominating the losing 2018 Assembly election candidate for any byelection in the same constituency.
Party president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is expected to announce the decision at a public meeting at Samsthan Narayanpur in Nalgonda district on August 20 as part of his campaign for Munugode bypoll.
Prabhakar Reddy lost to Congress candidate Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy in 2018 by 22,552 votes. In 2014, Prabhakar Reddy won by 38,055 votes against Palvai Sravanthi Reddy, who contested as an independent, after the Congress denied her a ticket.
There were rumours about dissident leaders holding a 'secret meeting' on Friday at a function hall in Choutuppal mandal and vowing to defeat Prabhakar Reddy if the party gave him a ticket. It was reportedly attended by several TRS ZPTCS, MPPs, municipal chairpersons, sarpanchs, MPTCS, former ZPTCs and others.
It is learnt that they even passed a resolution against Prabhakar Reddy and sent it to party leadership. However, Jagadish Reddy rubbished these reports stating that it was not 'dissidents meeting' but one of party leaders to discuss election strategy. TRS MLC Takkalapalli Ravinder, who is in-charge for Nalgonda party unit, alleged that Rajgopal Reddy was behind this 'drama'.
The dissident leaders had held a meeting on August 10 and threatened that they would work for the defeat of Prabhakar Reddy in the bypoll if the party fielded him. Energy minister G. Jagadish Reddy, the in-charge minister for Nalgonda district, rushed to Pragathi Bhavan and brought the issue to the notice of the Chief Minister.
After the meeting with Chief Minister, Jagadish Reddy, along with dissident leaders, announced that all had resolved to work together for the victory of the TRS candidate decided by the party leadership.
The selection of Prabhakar Reddy is on the lines of the nomination of Shanampudi Saidi Reddy for the Huzurnagar bypoll in Nalgonda district in October 2019. Saidi Reddy had lost to Congress candidate N. Uttam Kumar Reddy in December 2018 by 7,466 votes. Saidi Reddy defeated Congress candidate N. Padmavathi Reddy, wife of Uttam Kumar Reddy, by 43,358 votes in a bypoll. The bypoll was necessitated after Uttam Kumar Reddy resigned from the Assembly following his election as Lok Sabha member from Nalgonda in May 2019.
The TRS leadership had similarly given bypoll tickets to the family members of deceased legislators in Dubbak in November 2020 and Nagarjunasagar in April 2021. The bypolls came due to the death of TRS MLAs Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy (Dubbak) and Nomula Narasimhaiah (Nagarjunasagar). There was stiff opposition from local leaders against giving ticket to Solipeta Sujatha, wife of Ramalinga Reddy. The party leadership stuck to tradition. However, the TRS lost Dubbak by 1,079 votes.
Even during Nagarjunasagar bypoll, local leaders were against giving ticket to Nomula Bhagat, son of deceased MLA Narasimhaiah. The leadership went ahead with Bhagat and pacified dissident leaders like M.C. Koti Reddy with a MLC seat. This worked and the TRS won by 18,449 votes against Congress veteran K. Jana Reddy....