The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Monday won the by-election to the Banswada assembly seat in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh with a huge majority of nearly 50,000 votes.
Riding on the demand for a separate Telangana, TRS wrested the seat from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which bagged the seat in the 2009 elections but did not take part this time in view of the Telangana sentiment.
P Srinivas Reddy, the TDP winner of 2009, was re-elected, this time as the TRS candidate, by 49,989 votes, against his nearest rival S Srinivas Goud of the ruling Congress.
Of the 122,872 votes polled, Srinivas Reddy secured 83,245 votes while the Congress candidate got 33,256 votes.
The performance of the Congress candidate was surprising as he not only saved his deposit but also polled a sizeable number of votes although the TRS was confident of winning the seat by over 100,000 votes.
With this win, TRS increased its tally in the Andhra Pradesh assembly to 12. Srinivas Reddy alleged that the TDP had appealed to people to vote for the Congress.
The Congress too contested the election on the Telangana plank but TDP stayed away from the contest.
Over 77 percent of 1.60 lakh eligible voters voted in the Oct 13 battle.
The election in Nizamabad district was caused by the resignation of Srinivas Reddy, who quit TDP to join TRS to fight for a separate Telangana state.
Though there were six candidates in the fray, it was a direct fight between Srinivas Reddy and Srinivas Goud.
TRS completely dominated the campaigning as none of the top Congress leaders, including Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana, visited the constituency.
The by-poll was held at a time when a general strike has been on in the region for one month.
TRS bagged only 10 assembly seats in the 2009 elections. Last year, all its legislators resigned on the Telangana issue and were re-elected with a huge majority.
TRS also increased its strength as one TDP legislator, who had resigned on the same issue, won the by-election as a TRS candidate.
Telangana accounts for 117 seats in the 294-member Andhra assembly.