AIMIM is ‘sure’ to retain its Hyderabad seat held by Asaduddin Owaisi.
Hyderabad: Of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana, only one party—All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM)—is sure to retain its Hyderabad seat held by sitting MP Asaduddin Owaisi, while there are differing views on the remaining seats. The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is expecting to win 16 seats after leaving the Hyderabad seat to its ally Owaisi.
The Congress, which initially claimed to wrest 10 MPs in Telangana, is now claiming six seats, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which, too, boasted on emerging as a major player in the state is hopeful of bagging at least two Lok Sabha seats where it had put up a serious fight. Though the two Left parties CPM and CPI had contested together after a long time for four seats, they are not claiming any. TDP and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), which contested the 7 December Assembly elections along with Congress-led Maha Kutami, are not in the fray now. YSR Congress and Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena have abstained from Telangana Lok Sabha polls as they wanted to concentrate on neighbouring Andhra elections, though these parties initially made efforts to make inroads in Telangana. TRS chief and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) has claimed that his party would comfortably win all 16 MPs along with Owaisi’s AIMIM. In a review meeting held at his official residence, Pragati Bhavan in Begumpet in Hyderabad on Friday, the day after polling, KCR thanked people for voting for his party.
If polling percentage in the December Assembly elections was 65%, now it is just 63%. The CM has attributed the slide to migration of Andhra voters to their hometowns on the polling day and also to the scorching summer heat.
TRS senior leader and Animal Husbandry Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav told this newspaper on Saturday that his party would sweep all the 16 seats in Telangana. “We have no doubt that we will win all the 16 seats and our ally, Owaisi in Hyderabad,” he said. Srinivas Yadav’s 32-year-old son, Talasani Sai Kiran Yadav, contested on TRS ticket from the Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat.
Sai Kiran faced bitter fight from BJP candidate and former MLA G. Kishan Reddy in Secunderabad, though Congress fielded M. Anjan Kumar Yadav, a former MP from here. Kishan Reddy replaced former Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya as BJP nominee in Secunderabad, which is an urban constituency. Minister Yadav said his son’s victory was a foregone conclusion.
All India Congress Committee in charge general secretary R.C. Khuntia on polling day said his party would win 10 MPs in Telangana. But, the next day, the Pradesh Congress Committee leaders scaled it down to six seats after gathering “realistic inputs” from the ground level. The six seats are: Khammam, Malkajgiri, Bhongiri, Nalgonda, Chevella and Mahabubabad (ST).
In Khammam, former Union minister Renuka Chowdary contested against her old rival Nama Nageswara Rao, who contested this time on TRS ticket.
In Chevella, sitting TRS MP Konda Visweshvar Reddy contested on Congress ticket this time while the ruling party fielded businessman Ranjith Reddy. In Nalgonda, PCC president and Uttam Kumar Reddy is Congress candidate.
Uttam took on another businessman V. Narsimha Reddy from TRS. In Malkajgiri, PCC working president A. Revanth Reddy is Congress nominee to take on TRS candidate M. Rajasekhar Reddy, son-in-law of TRS minister C. Malla Reddy. In Mahabubabad (ST), former Union minister P. Balaram Naik is Congress candidate against M. Kavitha, former MLA and daughter of TRS MLA D.S. Reddya Naik.
BJP has pinned hopes on two seats—Secunderabad and Mahabubnagar.
In Secunderabad, Kishan Reddy is confident of his win as it is a traditionally BJP stronghold. In Mahabubnagar, BJP fielded D.K. Aruna, a former Congress minister.
On record, BJP leaders, however, say their tally will go up to four seats in Telangana, thanks to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi “wave”.