Hyderabad, Sep 29 (IANS) With the Telugu Desam Party’s surprising decision to enter the fray, a multi-cornered contest appears to be on cards in in Telangana’s Huzurnagar Assembly constituency, where the by-election is scheduled on October 21.
TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu late Saturday decided to field the party candidate in the by-election. The party candidate is likely to be announced later on Sunday.
The party’s decision is surprising since it had stayed away from the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.
Huzurnagar bypoll will be the first election to be contested by the TDP in Telangana on its own since December 2018 Assembly elections which it contested in alliance with the Congress.
The four-party alliance, led by the Congress, faced humiliation as it could win just 21 seats in 119-member Assembly. The TDP had bagged two seats and one of the legislators subsequently defected to ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
After the failed experience, Congress and the TDP snapped the alliance, though officially they did not make any announcement.
Naidu took the decision to field a party candidate in the Huzurnagar by-election after consultation with the party leaders from Nalgonda district.
The leaders impressed upon Naidu the need to contest the election to make the party’s presence felt in the state. They said contesting the polls was necessary to send a message to the party cadre at the grass-root level that the party is still alive and kicking.
“We will give answer to those who ask where is the TDP in Telangana,” senior TDP leader R. Chandrashekhar Reddy said. He is confident that the TDP’s revival in the state will start from Huzurnagar.
The TDP, which had left Huzurnagar for Congress in 2018, had bagged over 25,000 votes and finished fourth in 2014 elections.
The bypoll in Huzurnagar is necessitated by the resignation of Congress’ Uttam Kumar Reddy from the Assembly following his election to Lok Sabha from Nalgonda constituency in the recent polls.
The Congress has fielded Uttam Kumar Reddy’s wife Padmavathi Reddy. She had lost the Assembly election from Kodad constituency in the same district.
The TRS has named S. Saidi Reddy as its candidate. He lost to Uttam Kumar Reddy in December 2018.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too has decided to enter the fray. Party’s state unit President K. Laxman Sunday said K. Rama Rao will file his nomination as the party candidate on Monday.
Meanwhile, the TRS leaders called on the Communist Party of India (CPI) state Secretary Chada Venkat Reddy to seek his party’s support for TRS candidate.
The move is significant as the Left parties had good support base in the undivided Nalgonda district.
The Communist Part of India-Marxist has also decided to contest the by-election while the Telangana Jana Samithi, which had alliance with the Congress, the TDP and the CPI in previous Assembly polls, is likely to take a decision on Monday.
The TRS, which won 88 seats to retain power in December last year, increased its tally to over 100 by luring 15 MLAs including 12 of Congress to join its ranks. It is looking to wrest Huzurnagar from the Congress.
The bypoll is a battle of prestige for Congress as Uttam Kumar Reddy was elected from here three consecutive times. Political analysts say by winning the by-election, the Congress would like to prove that the TRS act of merging its 12 MLAs with the ruling party was unethical.