The BJP scripted history by recording its first-ever win in the dominant bastion of Reddys in Dubbaka. In the triangular electoral fight between TRS, BJP, and the Congress Party, the BJP pulled off a victory by a wafer-thin margin over the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
While the first rounds clearly went in favor of the saffron party, the TRS narrowed the gap by gaining momentum in the last rounds from 13th to 17th. Till the final results were announced, anxiety gripped both the TRS and the BJP camps as the voting could have tilted in any which way. At one point, the votes polled via postal ballot showed the TRS ahead of the BJP. However, the BJP took the lead in the last three rounds of 20, 21, and 22.
In the nail-baiting counting, the BJP candidate M Raghunandan Rao defeated TRS candidate Ramalinga Reddy’s wife Solipeta Sujatha by a wafer-thin
margin of votes. While Solipeta Sujatha polled 61,302, Raghunandan gave a tough fight by polling 62,772 votes. The BJP pinned high hopes on Raghunandan Rao although he had lost the 2018 Assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress has fielded Cheruku Srinivas Reddy, the son of late former minister Cheruku Muthyam Reddy, who polled 29,239 votes.
The BJP seems to have made it’s first big has made deep inroads in the state which appeared to be impregnable with K Chandrasekhar Rao being at the helm of affairs. The BJP’s candidate M Raghunandan Rao, who belongs to the dominant Velama caste, defeated TRS candidate Ramalinga Reddy’s wife Solipeta Sujatha by over more than 1,470 votes that have been dominated by the TRS. Although Raghunandan Rao had lost the 2018 Assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he is no political greenhorn.
Raghunandan’s victory clearly showed that the sympathy factor did not work in the favor of widow Sujatha. TRS appeared to be confident in retaining
the seat by fielding Solipeta Sujatha, wife of Ramalinga Reddy, whose death in August caused the vacancy.
The BJP’s campaign onslaught was led by none other than Minister of State for Home Kishan Reddy, while TRS has deployed its master strategist and finance minister T Harish Rao to script sensational victory. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao exuded confidence that the TRS would win Dubbaka seat with a massive majority of more than one lakh votes. Harish Rao has aggressively campaigned in Dubbaka tearing into the BJP camp. However,
Harish Rao’s strategy clearly seems to have failed.
Dubbaka witnessed no-holds-barred high-decibel campaigning. The intense rivalry saw a pitched battle between the TRS and the BJP workers. Days before polling, the police raided the residences of Raghunandan Rao’s relative and seized Rs 18.67 lakh in cash. The BJP cried foul and alleged that the TRS government used the police machinery to plant the cash in Raghunandan’s relative’s residence. Following this, high tension prevailed after
Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar was arrested. Immediately, Kishan Reddy left to Siddipet and camped in Dubbaka for the poll campaign.
Kishan Reddy extensively toured Dubbaka to canvass for Raghunandan Rao, clearly showing that the party took the bypolls quite prestigious and the national party’s efforts to make inroads into Telangana.
Kishan Reddy held several meetings with the local BJP leaders to discuss the poll strategy and the issues that need to be highlighted. The saffron party made all-out efforts to upset the TRS chances and wrest the seat from the pink party. While the TRS tried to nail the BJP over the three farm bills introduced by the central government, the BJP leaders highlighted on lack of any visible development in the constituency.
Dubbaka has seven mandals of which two are in Medak district and the rest in Siddipet. In a constituency with more than two lakh voters, at least 40,000 belong to the Mudiraj community, 30,000 comprise Golla Kurma and Yadavs and 30,000 from Goud, Munnur Kapu and Padmashali communities. The
constituency shares its borders with Gajwel, represented by K Chandrasekhar Rao, Sircilla which is represented by the Chief Minister’s son and IT Minister KTR, and Siddipet which is the stranglehold of CM’s nephew Harish Rao.
There was little doubt that the KCR-led TRS party viewed the BJP as a greater political threat than the now decimated Congress, which was the main opposition in the state. With the TRS drubbing at the Dubbaka hustings, the BJP seems to be slowly emerging as the main opposition in Telangana. One significant factor for the saffron party to make inroads in the state is Congress’s failure to challenge the ruling TRS.
It was after the 2019 elections that the BJP began making a foray into the politics of Telangana. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP’s candidate D
Arvind defeated KCR’s daughter Kavitha in the Nizamabad constituency, thereby causing a huge embarrassment to the TRS.