Cong, BRS, BJP intensify campaigning for MLC bye-election

Hyderabad, May 24 (IANS): With just one day to go for campaigning to end for the bye-election to the Telangana Legislative Council from Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda Graduates’ constituency, all three major political parties in the state have intensified their canvassing.

Leaders of the BJP, Congress and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi are addressing a series of meetings in support of their candidates for the May 27 bypoll.

They are urging the graduate voters to elect candidates who can fight on the issues of employed and unemployed graduates.

Ministers and key leaders of the ruling Congress party are undertaking whirlwind tours in the united districts in support of Chintapandu Naveen alias Teenmaar Mallanna.

The Congress leaders are stating that the government is working sincerely to solve the problems of the unemployed youth by taking steps to provide them jobs.

They are reiterating the government’s commitment to fill two lakh vacancies by the end of 2024.

BRS Working President KT Rama Rao and senior leader T Harish Rao have been addressing meetings in support of party candidate Rakesh Reddy.

The BRS leaders appealed to graduate voters to elect Rakesh Reddy so that he can raise people’s voice in the Legislative Council.

At every meeting, Rama Rao is asking voters if they want to elect a highly educated Rakesh Reddy, who returned to India from the US to serve people or a ‘blackmailer’.

He was attacking Teenmaar Mallanna for allegedly resorting to blackmailing in the guise of journalism.

Union Minister and state BJP President, G Kishan Reddy, MP K Laxman, former minister Eatala Rajender and other leaders have also addressed several meetings to campaign for party candidate GP Reddy.

Rama Rao and Harish Rao are stating that the people are fed up of the misrule of the Congress in a short span of six months.

The BRS leaders slammed the Congress for its failure to implement the six guarantees given during the Assembly elections.

They questioned the government over backtracking on its promise to pay Rs.500 bonus per quintal on paddy.

They said after promising the bonus, the government has now come with the rider that it will be paid only for farmers cultivating fine varieties of rice.

The BRS and BJP leaders pointed out that about 90 per cent of farmers in the state grow a coarse variety of rice and alleged that the rider put by the government amounts to deceiving farmers.

“The Congress has betrayed all sections, be it farmers, students, employees and women,” said Harish Rao.

Kishan Reddy alleged that six months ago people of Telangana, who wanted to get rid of the corrupt and autocratic rule of the BRS, gave the mandate to the Congress party but it has dashed all their hopes by reneging on all promises.

“They have not implemented one promise. It’s the BJP alone which can question the Congress over its betrayal,” said Kishan Reddy.

There are 4.6 lakh voters in the constituency spread over 34 Assembly seats in erstwhile districts of Warangal, Khammam and Nalgonda.

There are 52 candidates in the fray but it will be mainly a triangular contest among the Congress, BRS and BJP candidates.

The vacancy arose after Palla Rajeshwar Reddy of BRS resigned following his election to the Assembly from Jangaon constituency in the Assembly elections held in November 2023.

Interestingly all three main candidates were once friends in the BJP.

Rakesh Reddy quit the BJP to join BRS just before Assembly elections after he was denied a ticket from Warangal constituency.

Teenmaar Mallanna, who had contested as an Independent and finished second in the election for the MLC’s seat held two years ago, also quit the BJP to join Congress just before Assembly polls.

Mallanna runs a YouTube channel considered highly critical of BRS chief KCR and his family. He was arrested for his alleged derogatory posts and comments against KCR when BRS was in power.

The BJP has once again fielded senior leader and state General Secretary GP Reddy, who had secured fourth place in the 2021 poll.

The bypoll is a battle of prestige for the Congress as the party is keen to demonstrate that it continues to enjoy the support of graduates.

Jobs for unemployed youths was one of the key promises of the party in the Assembly elections.

In 2021, Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) President and academician M. Kodandaram had also contested the poll from this MLC constituency but finished third.

Kodandaram, a former professor of Political Science at Osmania University, had played a key role in the Telangana movement as convenor of Joint Action Committee (JAC), which included TRS (now BRS).

He was considered close to KCR. However, after the formation of Telangana state in 2014, differences cropped up between them and Kodandaram floated TJS.

In the recent Assembly elections, Kodandaram backed the Congress party and the latter rewarded him by nominating him to the Legislative Council under Governor’s quota.

With Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy and ministers backing him, Teenmaar Mallanna is confident of wresting the seat from the BRS.

The ruling party has 33 out of the 34 MLAs in the graduates' constituency.

Polling will take place on May 27 while counting of votes will be done on June 5, a day after counting of votes polled in Lok Sabha elections.



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Title: Cong, BRS, BJP intensify campaigning for MLC bye-election

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