TRS chief retains Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat (Lead)

June 1st, 2008 - 2:06 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, June 1 (IANS) The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) retained the Karimnagar Lok Sabha and five assembly seats while the ruling Congress party wrested three assembly seats as the first results were announced Sunday in the Andhra Pradesh by-elections. The first three results went in favour of TRS, whose four MPs and 16 state legislators had resigned en masse in March to cause the by-elections.

TRS chief and former union minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao retained the Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat, though with a narrow majority of 15,000 votes. His nearest rival was T. Jeevan Reddy of the Congress party.

Though the party was ahead in four other assembly segments, it was trailing in the remaining places and two Lok Sabha constituencies.

By-elections to four Lok Sabha and 18 assembly seats were held Thursday. Two assembly seats fell vacant due to the death of sitting legislators of Congress and TDP.

The TRS retained Dommat, Siddipet, Huzurabad, Aler and Kamlapur assembly seats while the Congress wrested Dichpally, Jadcherla and Vikarabad from the TRS. The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) retained the Terlam assembly seat.

TRS, which is fighting for separate statehood to the Telangana region, retained Karimnagar and was ahead in Hanamkonda, but trailing the Congress and TDP in the Adilabad and Warangal Lok Sabha constituencies, respectively.

Chandrasekhara Rao, known popularly as KCR, had won the Karimnagar by-election last year by over 200,000 votes.

S. Ramalinga Reddy of TRS retained Dommat with a majority of over 5,000 votes while T. Harish Rao, a relative of Chandrasekhara Rao, retained Siddipet with a massive majority of over 40,000 votes. A. Lalitha of Congress defeated the TRS candidate in Dichpally while Mallu Ravi of Congress was elected from Jadcherla.

The TDP retained Terlam assembly seat in Vizianagaram district while the Congress appeared set to retain Khairatabad in the state capital. The two seats fell vacant due to the death of the sitting legislators.

Since the TRS legislators had resigned en masse over the delay in carving out a separate Telangana state, the by-elections are viewed as a referendum on the issue. The by-polls are also considered as a semi-final before next year’s elections.

The TRS had fought the 2004 elections in alliance with the Congress party and bagged five Lok Sabha and 26 assembly seats in the region.

While 10 state legislators of the party staged a revolt against KCR’s leadership, MP A. Narendra was expelled from the party last year over his alleged role in a human smuggling scandal.

The TRS, which had joined the Congress-led coalition governments both in the state and at the centre, later pulled out to protest the delay in carving out a separate Telangana state.

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