Hyderabad: Of the six MLC seats under local bodies’ quota that are going to polls on December 10, TRS leadership faces a tough task in Karimnagar, where it has to reckon with influential independent candidate Ravinder Singh, who quit the party recently.
The party is keen on winning the seat as it suspects that Singh has the backing of Etala Rajendar.
Still smarting from the debacle in Huzurabad, which is part of Karimnagar district, TRS has taken the Karimnagar MLC showdown as the 'most prestigious election' from among all other seats that are up for grabs
Although TRS deployed ministers, dozens of party MLAs, MLCs and MPs to win Huzurabad by-elections and had spent thousands of crores on various welfare schemes and developmental activities, the party came a cropper against Rajendar.
TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao deputed ministers and MLAs to Karimnagar in order to effectively implement the party's strategy.
The party views that like Etala, if Ravinder Singh wins here, the 'back to back' defeats in Karimnagar district could have electoral ramifications for the party in the entire state and embolden the voices of dissent within.
Going by the absolute majority it enjoys in local bodies, a TRS victory is a foregone conclusion. However, the party is not taking any chances.
The in-charge ministers and MLAs of TRS have already shifted their voters to camps in Goa, Bengaluru and Pune in order to foil poaching bids by the opponents.
There are a total 1,324 voters in Karimnagar MLC election. Of them, 990 belong to TRS. The rest are from Congress, BJP and independents. Since Congress and BJP have not fielded their candidates, it is a near-straight fight between TRS nominee and Ravinder Singh, who was mayor of Karimnagar before quitting TRS after he was denied MLC ticket.