For Telangana’s Huzurnagar assembly seat, record number of nominations pour in
The huge number of independents filing their nominations in Huzurnagar comes close on the heels of the April 11 elections to Nizamabad parliamentary seat for which as many as 185 candidates were in the fray.Updated: Sep 30, 2019, 22:26 IST
For the by-election to Huzurnagar assembly seat in Telangana’s Nalgonda district, as many as 76 candidates filed their nominations as the last date for filing of papers drew to a close on Monday.
Apart from the contestants from mainstream political parties like the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Telugu Desam Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist), a large number of independents filed their papers for the by-poll to Huzurnagar, making it an interesting battle.
The huge number of independents filing their nominations in Huzurnagar comes close on the heels of the April 11 elections to Nizamabad parliamentary seat for which as many as 185 candidates were in the fray.
A majority of the independents in Nizamabad were turmeric and red jowar farmers who were demanding remunerative prices for their crops. Their contest led to the defeat of TRS president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter Kalvakuntla Kavitha by BJP candidate D Arvind.
In Huzurnagar, it is the turn of sarpanches of various villages from across the state to contest the by-election in protest against denial of exclusive power to them in the gram panchayats by the TRS government.
Initially, more than 100 sarpanches were planning to file their nominations, but many of them backed out under pressure, a member of Telangana sarpanches’ association said, pleading anonymity. Association president Bhumanna Yadav, who was also planning to contest the elections, was arrested by the police in connection with a criminal case pending against him.
The by-election to Huzurnagar was necessitated with the resignation of Pradesh Congress Committee president N Uttam Kumar Reddy on his election to the Lok Sabha from the Nalgonda parliamentary constituency in May.
The Congress has fielded Uttam’s wife and former MLA N Padmavathi, while the TRS gave a ticket to an NRI S Saidi Reddy, who unsuccessfully contested from the same seat in December 2018 assembly elections. While BJP has fielded a new comer K Rama Rao, the TDP jumped into the fray in the last minute to field Chava Kiranmayi. The CPI (M) has given a ticket to its senior leader P Shekhar.
The CPI, which has considerable number of votes in Huzurnagar, stayed away from the contest and realizing the importance of the CPI in the multi-cornered contests, both the TRS and the Congress have approached the CPI leadership to extend support to their respective candidates. The CPI is expected to take a decision by October 2.
For both the TRS and the Congress, the Huzurnagar by-election is an acid test. The Congress wants to not only retain its hold over the constituency by winning the seat, but also regain the main opposition status in the state assembly.
The Congress, which won 19 assembly seats in the last assembly elections, witnessed defection of 12 MLAs into the TRS and the resignation of Uttam Reddy who became an MP. With just six seats, the party lost its main opposition status to the MIM which has seven MLAs in the assembly. A victory in Huzurnagar will also be a morale booster to the party.
For the TRS, it is the first major test after the party’s loss of face in the recent Lok Sabha elections. The party could win just nine out of 17 MP seats, while the Congress bounced back with three MP seats and the BJP sprang a surprise by winning four seats.