Saturday, October 23, 2021

Dubbaka by-poll: Campaign Ends, leaving leaders guessing

  • Prestigeous battle for all parties
  • It  looks as though it is neck to neck as poll date approaches
  • TRS has clear edge, doubts about majority

Prime post Ground report

Dubbaka: One  by-poll which highlighter the  importance of elections in Telangana is Dubbaka, with leaders of major parties camping in the constituency. The sight of the leaders falling on voter’s feet shows the critical  importance of win for parties like BJP and the Congress who took this election as do-or-die battle.

High voltage campaign for by-poll ends on Sunday evening. Dubbaka constituency is located in old Medak district with neighbouring constituencies  won by CM KCR (Gajwel) and his nephew T. Harish Rao (Siddipet). Out of 10 in the old Medak district 9 MLA seats and lone MP seat were won by TRS in 2018 , 19 elections, thanks to finance Minister Harish Rao for his untiring  efforts. The by-poll of Dubbaka is necessitated after sudden demise of TRS MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy.

Initial campaign was at a slow pace with parties convinced  that sympathy factor will be with TRS, but as days progressed, there is a different mood expressed by voters in the constituency. The major voters in Dubbaka belong to beedi workers and weavers community. When we tried to catch the pulse  of the weavers, they expressed that unemployment for youth is the major problem. Bribe is bothering the poor people who cannot afford to pay for jobs.

Farmers talk in a different tone. They expressed soliditary with the TRS. They said out of 10, 7 marks will go to TRS for schemes like Rythu Bandhu,  KCR Kit, Ambulance facility, Kalyani Lakshmi etc. “We can be happy with this help but our kids are sitting idle without jobs which is worrying us,” said Rajamouli in Dubbaka town.  He felt TRS will win with a hope that Finance Minister will take care of the unemployment problem.

Another farmer, who has 150 votes in his extended family,  expressed different opinion. “We have faith on KCR, but this time we will give a chance to the BJP.  KCR’s promise to Chinthamadaka villagers that it will be a golden nugget angered Dubbaka voters. “Why should we be always sidelined and  deprived of the benefits, when CM has thought of making Chintamadaka as ‘Bangaru thunaka”? Why did he not bother about neighbouring Dubbaka?” questioned an angry farmer. Continuous win for a party will make them headstrong, once they are defeated they will come to know our problems, felt another voter who always favoured TSR until now.

A few voters felt it is the best time to give chance for opposition as a test, and if not fared well, can be pushed out in next election, which is only 3 years away.

BJP Fate

BJP’s candidate Raghunadan Rao joined BJP after he was expelled from TRS in 2004 with an allegation of a secret meeting with TDP Supreme Chandrababu Naidu. He is contesting from Dubbaka constituency for the third time. It is desperate  situation for him who is confident that voters will give a chance in this by-poll. It is a big task for Bandi Sanjay and Kishan Reddy as it is first election after they took charge of State party president and Union Minister of Sate for Home.

In previous elections, BJP stood in third  position but they don’t want to lose in this and are fighting to the best of their ability to  counter the ruling party. Leaders across state have  campaigned vigourosly for Raghunandan’s win. There will be increase in vote percentage  of BJP this time, but will that lead to victory is a big question mark.

Cheruku Srinivas Reddy is contesting on congress ticket after resigning from the TRS just before filing the nomination.  TPCC Chief Uttam Kumar Reddy  is making rounds in Dubbaka mouthing  criticism against CM and KCR for neglecting Dubbaka, quoting late Ramalinga Reddy’s words in Assembly that the constituency was neglected due to non-cooperative of local TRS leaders.

But voters feel  that the  Congress party is not at all in the race. They have no face locally except Uttam and Revanth from party who are outsiders.

TRS VS BJP

Now the fight clearly looks to be between BJP and TRS after hearing the voters’ preferences.  with cash seizures and police cases, the BJP had made a lot of noise during the campaign. Exchange of words, challenges between Harish Rao and Bandi Sanjay, arrests  of the BJP leaders  created tense moments. On the last day of campaign, the tilt is  towards TRS with BJP in second place. The only question is about TRS’ majority this time. The voters clearly showed their anguish  but kept faith on star campaigner T. Harish Rao, but will this lead to a record majority as expected by the TRS?  That will be know only on 10Nov when ballots will be counted.

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