Following a record voter turnout in the Huzurabad Assembly by-election, leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are crossing their fingers to see who will benefit from the increase in poll percentage, though few exit polls suggest Eatala Rajender of the BJP will win.
On Saturday, 86.33 percent of nearly 2.37 lakh voters cast ballots in a hotly contested by-election. The turnout in the poll was 2.5 percent higher than in 2018.
Due to a lack of clear indications, the winner will remain a mystery until the votes are counted on November 2.
Since Rajender left the TRS and resigned from the Assembly in June to join the BJP after being removed from KCR’s State Cabinet over allegations of land grabbing, a tight race has been predicted. TRS named its student wing leader G. Srinivas Yadav as its candidate against former minister and four-time MLA Rajender, predicting a close race.
The TRS leader noted that voters were more informed, and they enthusiastically participated in the polling while adhering to the Covid-19 guidelines. He expressed gratitude to the voters as well as all of the party leaders and workers.
The BJP state president Bandi Sanjay was equally confident of his party’s victory. He said though the TRS tried to influence the voters with money power, they acted with political consciousness. He claimed that people supported BJP and Rajender.
According to some exit polls, the BJP will win with around 50% of the vote. TRS is expected to receive 43% of the vote. Venkat Balmoor of the Congress party may only receive 5.7 percent of the vote.
Despite the fact that it was expected to be a three-cornered race, Congress clearly trailed the BJP and TRS in terms of announcing a candidate and launching a campaign.
In 2018, the Congress party received 34% of the vote. Rajender had won the seat by over 43,000 votes over his nearest opponent, Kaushik Reddy of the Congress. The TRS candidate received 1,04,840 votes, compared to 61,121 for the Congress candidate.
P. Raghu, the BJP candidate, received only 1,683 votes, which was less than the NOTA votes (2,867).Kaushik Reddy recently resigned from Congress to join the TRS. He has been nominated to the Legislative Council by the ruling party.
Since 2009, Rajender had been winning the Huzurabad seat as a TRS candidate. After the formation of Telangana State in 2014, he served as Finance Minister in the first TRS government.
Following TRS’s re-election in 2018, KCR appointed him as a Minister and assigned him the health portfolio.