Hyderabad: Buoyed by a victory in the two graduate MLC polls, the ruling TRS is banking on votes of the Other Backward Castes (OBCs) to achieve its target of winning and retaining the upcoming Nagarjunasagar Assembly bypoll on April 17. Voters from backward classes constitute the majority in this constituency.
TRS party supremo and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is likely to announce the party’s candidate on Friday, soon after the budget session of the Assembly ends.
Sources said that Mr Chandrashekar Rao has more or less decided to field a BC candidate, as was done successfully in the 2018 Assembly polls, to render the contest a fight between BCs and Reddys as a strategy.
The Congress and BJP had fielded candidates from the Reddy community in 2018 while the TRS fielded Nomula Narasimhaiah, a BC from the Yadav community, and went on to win the battle. TRS candidate, known for his leftist politics, trounced Congress heavyweight K. Jana Reddy, who had earlier won the elections from here seven times.
The Congress has already announced Jana Reddy’s candidature for the bypoll. Currently, there is no word from the BJP on its candidate till now.
TRS sources further said that Mr Rao’s choice has come down to choosing between deceased MLA Nomula Narasimhaiah’s son, Nomula Bhagat, and a local BC leader Katteboyina Guravaiah Yadav. Mr Yadav is being considered because multiple surveys commissioned by the party on candidate selection suggested that voters were favouring a local BC leader as their MLA but Nomula Bhagat suffers the perception of being a ‘non local’, hailing as he does from the Nakrekal mandal.
However, some TRS sources say after stunning victories in the two MLC seats recently, Mr Rao changed his stand of fielding a local BC candidate for Nagarjunasagar because he is brimming with confidence that TRS would win the bypoll, irrespective of candidate’s domicile status and maybe leaning in favour of Bhagat.
But Guravaiah is giving tough competition with both his local and financial status besides his family’s deep-rooted political background. Guravaiah is son-in-law of former MLA late Gundeboina Rammurthy Yadav from Chalakurthi constituency between (1994-199), which was reorganised as Nagarjunasagar constituency later. He is also a relative of TRS Rajya Sabha member Badugula Lingaiah Yadav....