Continuing with its winning streak, Telangana’s ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Tuesday bagged the Narayankhed assembly seat in the by-elections with a huge margin, wresting it from main opposition, the Congress party.
TRS candidate M Bhupal Reddy has been elected with a massive majority of over 53,000 votes over his nearest rival P Sanjeeva Reddy of Congress.
Bhupal Reddy polled 93,076 votes while Sanjeeva Reddy secured 39,451 votes. M Vijayapal Reddy of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) finished third with 14,787 votes.
The TRS thus wrested the seat from Congress party, which had won it in 2014 elections.
The by-election was necessitated due to the death of sitting Congress legislator P Kishta Reddy in August 2015.
The Congress party, which fielded Kishta Reddy’s son Sanjeeva Reddy, was banking on sympathy factor while TRS, buoyed by a series of electoral victories, was looking to wrest the Congress stronghold on the basis of development and welfare schemes undertaken during last 19 months.
In the by-election held on Saturday, 81.72 percent of 1.88 lakh voters had cast their votes.
Narayankhed in Medak district has always been a Congress stronghold. TRS had never won this assembly seat, while TDP could win it only once in 1994.
In 2014 elections, Congress party’s Kishta Reddy was elected with a majority of 14,746 votes over Bhupal Reddy of TRS. The Congress candidate had polled 62,347 votes while Bhupal Reddy secured 47,601 votes. Vijayapal Reddy of TDP was at third place with 40,405 votes.
The win in Narayankhed has further strengthened TRS as this was the first by-election for an assembly seat after 2014 polls.
The party had bagged 65 seats in 120-member assembly, to form the first government in the newly created state of Telangana. However, a series of defections from both Congress and TDP have already increased party’s tally to over 180.
Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao’s party also retained Medak and Warangal Lok Sabha seats with huge majority in the by-elections held in September 2014 and November 2015 respectively.