Hyderabad: The Telangana by-election verdict in Andhra Pradesh could give a major boost to the demand for a separate state for the region. Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), which has been leading agitation for a separate Telangana state, has already won two seats and is leading in nine constituencies, while the BJP is ahead in one seat.
TRS leader T Harish Rao set a record in the state’s electoral politics by retaining his Siddipet Assembly seat in the by-elections by a margin of over 95,000 votes.
He was elected with a margin of 95,858 votes, breaking the record of late former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who was re-elected from Pulivendula constituency in Kadapa district last year with a margin of 68,681.
Harish Rao came second in last year’s elections in terms of victory margin with 64,677 votes.
The candidates of both the ruling Congress and main opposition Telugu Desam Party in Siddpet constituency in Medak district lost their deposits.
Harish Rao is the nephew of TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao and has been winning the seat ever since the latter moved to the Lok Sabha after the 2004 elections.
In a major embarrassment for the Congress, the party’s state unit president D Srinivas lost the Nizamabad Urban seat by 5000 votes to BJP’s Lakshminarayana.
The results could be a major upset for both the Congress and Telugu Desam Party, who are in favour of a united Andhra.
Counting for 12 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh’s Telangana region began on Friday morning.
The results from seven constituencies, where electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used, are likely to be announced before noon while it may take some more time in the remaining five constituencies where ballot papers were used.
The Election Commission said 66.67 per cent of 23.60 lakh voters in the 12 constituencies spread over five districts cast their votes in the elections held on Tuesday.
The by-polls were necessitated by the resignation of all 10 legislators of the TRS and one each of the BJP and the TDP on the issue of a separate Telangana state early this year.