Setback to TRS in bypolls, Cong, TDP gains
The TRS, spearheading the Telangana statehood movement in Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday suffered a major blow when Congress and TDP nominees defeated the party candidates in key constituencies in the Telugu heartland.
In an election, widely seen as a referendum on the Telangana issue, the ruling Congress and main opposition TDP posted impressive gains at the cost of the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi, which has been fighting for a separate state since its inception in 2001.
Bypolls were held to 18 Assembly and four Lok Sabha after the TRS MLAs and MPs resigned en masse accusing the UPA government of failing to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.
Out of the four Lok Sabha seats, the TRS managed to retain only two, while Congress and TDP bagged one seat each.
In the 18 assembly constituencies, the Telangana party could win only seven, while Congress and TDP wrested six and five seats each from TRS.
Two other assembly seats fell vacant following the death of sitting members.
The TRS, which was heavily banking on Telangana sentiment factor, appeared to have failed to capitalise on it as party candidates suffered humiliating defeats in several constituencies.
Interestingly, the TDP, which has been opposing the Telangana statehood issue, has made impressive gains in the elections by winning five Assembly seats and a Lok Sabha constituency.
The major blow to the TRS came in the form of drastic fall in majority for its chief K Chandrasekhar Rao who retained his Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat with a slender margin of 15,289 votes.