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Union minister, two MLAs vie for glory in Secunderabad

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Union minister, two MLAs vie for glory in Secunderabad

Hyderabad, April 1 (Ajit Weekly News) A triangular contest is on the cards for Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency in Telangana where Union Minister for tourism, culture and development of the north eastern region, G. Kishan Reddy is seeking re-election.

Two sitting MLAs representing Assembly segments under the same Lok Sabha constituency are also set to enter the fray.

Interestingly both the MLAs were elected in recent elections on Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) tickets. Danam Nagender, who was re-elected from Khairatabad constituency, joined Congress party a few days ago and the party swiftly named him as the candidate for May 13 election.

BRS, which won six of the seven Assembly segments in the recent polls, is making a determined bid to register its maiden victory in this Lok Sabha constituency, which so far has elected either Congress or BJP.

The BRS has fielded T. Padmarao Goud, who was elected from the Secunderabad Assembly segment recently for a fourth term and considered a strong leader.

Padmarao Goud has been associated with TRS (now BRS) since Telangana movement days. He also served as the Deputy Speaker of Telangana Legislative Assembly between 2014 and 2018.

He was first elected to the Assembly of united Andhra Pradesh on TRS ticket from Secunderabad in 2004.

In terms of Assembly segments won and number of votes secured, BRS appears strong on paper but defections of some key leaders to the ruling Congress has apparently hit the party’s morale.

The switching of loyalties by Nagender, a former minister, came as a shot in the arm for the grand old party.

Upbeat after luring several key BRS leaders, including Greater Hyderabad Mayor Vijayalaxmi Gadwal to its camp, Congress will be looking to wrest the seat from BJP after losing two consecutive elections

After drawing a blank in Greater Hyderabad region in November 30, 2023 polls, the Congress was looking for strong candidates to bolster its prospects. Interestingly, in Secunderabad, Chevella and Malkajgiri, which cover Assembly segments in and around Hyderabad, the Congress has fielded all defectors from BRS.

Kishan Reddy, who is also the state president of the BJP, was elected MP from Secunderabad in 2019, a few months after losing the election from Amberpet Assembly segment under the same parliamentary constituency

In 2019, G. Kishan Reddy had defeated his nearest rival T. Sai Kiran Yadav by a majority of 62,114 votes. Kishan Reddy had polled 3,84,780 votes while Sai Kiran Yadav, son of former minister and BRS leader Srinivas Yadav, secured 3,22,666 votes.

Anjan Kumar Yadav, a two-time MP from Secunderabad, finished a distant third with 1,73,229 votes.

In the November 30, 2023 Assembly elections, BRS bagged six out of seven Assembly segments under the Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency. The AIMIM retained the Nampally segment.

Like in the 2019 elections, Kishan Reddy, a three-time MLA from Amberpet, will be banking on the Modi factor.

Both BRS and Congress are vying to get support of Muslims and Christians, who are in sizable numbers in this constituency.

Secunderabad was a Congress stronghold till 1991 when BJP’s Bandaru Dattatreya wrested the seat for the first time. He was elected from this constituency again in 1998, 1999 and 2014.

In 2014, when BJP had contested the elections in alliance with the TDP, Dattatreya had defeated his nearest rival Anjan Kumar Yadav of Congress with a massive majority of over 2.54 lakh votes.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) candidate N. Mohan Rao was at third spot polling 1.45 lakh votes. TRS had finished fourth with 1.43 lakh votes.

In 2019, AIMIM had backed TRS in 16 Lok Sabha constituencies while the two parties had a friendly contest in Hyderabad, a stronghold of AIMIM.

It will be interesting to see which party AIMIM will support this time as the party appears to have softened its stand towards Congress after it came to power.

Secunderabad is one of the seats which BRS never won since the party was floated by K. Chandrasekhar Rao in 2001. In 2009, it finished in sixth position.

After forming the first government in Telangana in 2014, BRS improved its position in Secunderabad.

If votes polled by the parties in 2023 Assembly elections are compared with the votes secured by them in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BRS significantly improved its position. It polled 4,63,324 votes in 2023 Assembly elections against 3,22,666 votes in 2019 in all seven Assembly segments.

The Congress also improved its performance to secure 2,80,605 against 1,73,229 votes in 2019. However, the number of votes polled by BJP came down to 2,16,401 from 3,84,780 in 2019.

Poll analysts, however, say this comparison does not reflect the real picture on the ground as the issues for Lok Sabha polls will be different. They point out that TRS had increased its votes to 4.29 lakh in 2018 from just 1.43 lakh in 2014 when simultaneous polls were held for Assembly and Lok Sabha, but in the general elections a few months later the BJP still retained the seat.

Kishan Reddy has already launched the election campaign in the constituency with the focus on achievements of the Modi government during the last 10 years. After the Vijay Sankalp yatra a month ago, the BJP leader has been undertaking padayatra in the constituency to interact with people.

The Union Minister enquired with people about the civic amenities and promised to solve their problems. As someone who represented Amberpet constituency for three terms and known as an active leader since his BJYM days, he is considered accessible to the electorate.

BRS working president K.T. Rama Rao, however, said that Kishan Reddy will lose the election as he has done nothing for the constituency in the last five years. Campaigning in the constituency for BRS candidate Padmarao Goud, KTR said that despite being the Central minister, Kishan Reddy hasn’t brought a single rupee or initiated any development activity for Hyderabad or Telangana. KTR recalled that Kishan Reddy was rejected by the Amberpet Assembly Constituency and accidentally became an MP from the Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency.

The BRS leader reminded the city voters about the 360-degree development of Hyderabad during their 10 year-rule.

KTR also reminded the people of Secunderabad that instead of voting for leaders who make regular visits to high commands in Delhi, they should vote for Padmarao Goud, who is always available in the constituency.

Younger than Hyderabad by 215 years, Secunderabad is known for its distinctive and more modern lifestyle, cosmopolitan culture and architecture. It houses dozens of defence establishments with the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) looking after the vast military interests.

In 1806, Nizam III Mir Sikandar Jah, the ruler of then Hyderabad State had allocated Secunderabad, the area to the north of the Hussain Sagar Lake, for the cantonment of the British Army. The area was named after Sikandar Jah and it remained under the direct rule of the British till 1948.

–Ajit Weekly News

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