Jolt for TRS as BJP wins Dubbak Assembly bypoll in Telangana

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Hyderabad, Nov 10 (PTI) In a boost to the BJP in Telangana, the party on Tuesday won the bypoll held to the Dubbak Assembly constituency, defeating the ruling TRS by a margin of 1,079 votes.

'BJP candidate won by 1,079 votes,' Siddipet district Collector Bharati Hollikeri told PTI over phone.

In a close contest, BJP's M Raghunandan Rao got 63,352 votes, while the TRS nominee secured 62,273 votes.

Cheruku Srinivas Reddy of the Congress finished third with 22,196 votes.

The counting of votes reminded one of a T-20 cricket match as the lead position kept changing between the BJP and TRS, but the saffron party candidate had the last laugh.

The bypoll, held on November 3, was necessitated due to the death of sitting TRS MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy in August due to health issues and the TRS has fielded his widow Sujatha as its candidate.

Buoyed by the victory, state BJP president and MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar, who thanked the electorate in Dubbak for the win, said the TRS leaders should remember that BJP's series of victories would continue till the saffron flag reached the top of Golconda fort (coming to power in the state).

He claimed that the Dubbak verdict is against Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his 'arrogant, corrupt and dictatorial' rule.

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the BJP's win is being welcomed by Telangana people.

Taking exception to the TRS government's 'misuse' of power, he alleged that some officials adopted a 'partisan attitude' against the BJP.

Such an attitude has not been seen anywhere, he claimed.

Reddy, who referred to alleged incidents of money being seized from the relatives of BJP candidate Raghunandan Rao in the run up to polling, also claimed that BJP leaders were troubled 'at every step' during the campaign with authorities stopping them for checks, while leaving TRS vehicles without being checked.

People would teach a lesson to such behaviour and the electorate in Dubbak did teach a lesson, he said.

Reacting to the TRS defeat, the partys working president KT Rama Rao said they will review the result as to why the party lost the election.

Rama Rao, son of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, thanked over 62,000 people who voted for the party and also the party cadre for their efforts during the poll.

'The result was not as we expected...we will not be depressed by defeats or overjoy with success,' he told reporters.

Rama Rao said the TRS never lost any election, be it for Assembly, Panchayat or GHMC after the formation of Telangana in 2014 and that the Dubbak loss would make it more alert in future.

The Dubbak win would give a headstart to the BJP in the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections.

TRS' loss is inconsequential as far as the government is concerned as the party enjoys a massive majority of 100 seats in the 119-member Legislative Assembly.

BJP's strength in the Assembly wouldgo up to two following the Dubbak victory.

The loss is a setback to the Congress as it hoped to strengthen itself in the state by winning the bypoll and conducted a spirited campaign by deploying a number of senior leaders for campaigning in Dubbak.PTI SJR GDK BN WELCOME BN WELCOME

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