Hyderabad, Oct 24 (IANS) The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Thursday wrested the Huzurnagar Assembly seat from the Congress with a huge majority of over 43,000 votes.
S. Saidi Reddy of TRS defeated his nearest rival Padmavathi Reddy of Congress by 43,233 votes in what turned out to be a one-sided contest, proving wrong all predictions of a close fight.
In the first by-poll since retaining power with a landslide majority in December 2018, the TRS scored an impressive victory by polling 1,12,796 votes out of 2,00,239 votes polled. Saidi Reddy secured 56.45 per cent votes.
Padmavathi Reddy, wife of state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy, could only secure 30.46 per cent of the polled votes.
Candidates of both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) forfeited their deposit.
The TRS established lead from the very first round in the morning and consolidated it further as the counting progressed.
What made this victory remarkable for the TRS is the fact that party President and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao did not even campaign for the party. The only election rally he was to address was cancelled due to rains.
The massive win also shows that the ongoing strike by the employees of state-owned Road Transport Corporation and the unity among opposition parties over the government's 'adamant' attitude towards striking employees had no impact on the outcome.
The constituency, with over 2.36 lakh voters, had recorded 84.75 per cent polling in the by-election held on October 21.
A total of 28 candidates were in the fray in the by-poll, necessitated by the resignation of state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy following his election to Lok Sabha from Nalgonda constituency in the recent polls.
In 2018, Uttam Kumar Reddy had retained Huzurnagar seat by defeating Saidi Reddy of the TRS with a margin of 7,466 votes. The state Congress president had won the seat for third consecutive time.
The result came as a huge shock not just for Uttam Kumar Reddy personally but also for the Congress, which was hoping to get back the status of main opposition in the state Assembly.
The Congress had won 19 seats in 119-member Assembly last year but lost 12 of them to the ruling party. With its tally slumping to six, it also lost the status of main opposition party.
With the victory in Huzurnagar, the tally of the TRS in the Assembly will go up to 104. It had won 88 seats in the Assembly elections. Besides 12 Congress MLAs who merged with the TRS, a legislator of TDP and two Independents had also defected to the ruling party.