The local body constituency MLC election is promising to be an edge-of-thriller with senior TRS leader and former Karimnagar Mayor Sardar Ravinder Singh rebelling against the leadership. Soon after filing his nomination, he went underground and announced that he would come over ground only after the deadline for withdrawal of nomination ends.
This has rattled the TRS leadership, which was hoping that the local body MLC elections would be a smooth affair. Sardar Ravinder Singh, who felt marginalised in the party, has rebelled and is in no mood to listen to the leadership. With this, the stakes have gone high in Karimnagar Local Bodies MLC Constituency. The ruling TRS and rebel Ravinder Singh are determined to fight it out till the last.
There are 1326 votes in the MLC constituency. Of this the TRS has 996 votes. The Congress, BJP and independents account for 330 votes. The winner needs 664 votes. On paper, the TRS looks quite comfortably placed. But, since the voting is based on a secret ballot, the fear of cross-voting is lurking for the TRS. It is worried that if 330 of its voters resort to cross-voting, the official candidate would end up losing the election. Ravindra Singh has considerable support in the party. So, the TRS is really worried.
Meanwhile, there are reports that the voters are being offered as high as Rs 5 lakh per vote. At this rate, a candidate may have to spend roughly RS 30 crore to bribe the voters if he is determined to win the election. There is discontent against sitting MLC Bhanu Prasada Rao. This too is working against the TRS. Sources say that the MLC battle in Karimnagar has turned out to be quite prestigious.