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HomeHyderabadCM Revanth Reddy Backs Malkajgiri Candidate in Prestige Battle

CM Revanth Reddy Backs Malkajgiri Candidate in Prestige Battle

It will be a battle of prestige for Telangana Chief Minister, A Revanth Reddy, in Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency, the largest in the country with over 36 lakh voters.

Looking to replicate the 2019 campaign model, CM Revanth Reddy as the President of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee, is personally steering the party’s ship in the constituency located on the periphery of Hyderabad, which is often termed as ‘Mini India’ for being home to migrants from various states.

The Congress party has fielded Sunitha Reddy, who is the chairperson of the Vikarabad Zilla Parishad, for the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency. Revanth Reddy, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from this constituency in the previous election, has increased the stakes with his assertion that winning the seat is not only about the candidate but also about him as the Chief Minister, as he went on to become the Chief Minister after winning Malkajgiri.

Also Read: Malkajgiri Lok Sabha seat prestigious for Congress: Revanth Reddy

While the candidates of all the three main parties are first-time contestants in the constituency, the challenge for the Congress party remains the same. When Revanth Reddy entered the fray in 2019, all the seven Assembly segments under Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency were held by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and in the recently-held elections BRS bagged all the Assembly seats once again.

At a meeting with party leaders from the constituency last week, CM Revanth Reddy asked them to work hard to ensure that the Congress’ flag flutters high in the May 13 election. He said the Malkajgiri model should be replicated in other constituencies so that the party achieves its target of winning 14 out of 17 seats in the state.

The 2019 model involves forming three layers of coordination committees. Facing the first major political challenge after leading the Congress to power in the state, CM Revanth Reddy plans to strengthen booth-level committees.

He, however, noted that while the Congress swept the recent Assembly elections across the state, the results in Assembly segments under Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency were not to the party’s expectations.

“If we had won four out of seven Assembly seats, we could have undertaken development works. That’s why the Congress should win the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha seat so that development works can be taken up,” he said.

In 2019, Revanth Reddy was elected from here, defeating his nearest rival Marri Rajashekar Reddy of TRS (now BRS) by 10,919 votes. Revanth Reddy had polled 6,03,748 votes while Marri Rajashekar Reddy secured 5,92,829 votes. The BJP’s N Ramchander Rao had garnered 3,04,282 votes.

Created in 2008 as a result of the delimitation process, the constituency always witnessed three-cornered or multi-cornered contests. Sarve Satyanarayana of the Congress was the first to get elected from Malkajgiri in 2009, defeating his nearest rival T Bheemsen of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) by 93,226 votes.

In 2014, Malla Reddy of the TDP was elected from here, defeating Mynampally Hanumanth Rao of the TRS by 28,371 votes. This was the first election after the formation of Telangana and the TDP’s victory was attributed to the support by migrants from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) who were then concerned about their safety in the new state. Malla Reddy later switched loyalties to the TRS.

Comprising Assembly segments spread in Hyderabad, its twin city Secunderabad and neighbouring districts of Rangareddy and Medchal, it is also a huge constituency in terms of area. In 2018, TRS bagged six out of seven Assembly seats.

The lone Congress MLA, Sudheer Reddy, who was elected from LB Nagar, also crossed over to the TRS. In the recent Assembly elections, the BRS captured all Assembly segments.

One of the segments Secunderabad Cantonment fell vacant last month due to the death of newly-elected MLA, Lasya Nanditha. Bye-election to this Assembly seat is also scheduled along with the Lok Sabha polls. This has further added significance to the elections this time.

Sri Ganesh, who had contested on a BJP ticket and finished as runner-up in Secunderabad Cantonment, has joined the Congress, giving a boost to the ruling party. Stakes are high for all the three major parties in Malkajgiri.

While the Congress will be looking to retain the seat, both BRS and BJP are in search of their maiden victory here. Defection of several BRS leaders to the Congress after Assembly elections has put BRS on the back foot.

What gives hope to the Congress party is the fact that in 2019 it won the seat despite BRS winning all seven Assembly segments in the polls held a few months earlier.

The BJP has fielded former minister Eatala Rajender in Malkajgiri. The senior leader is testing his fortunes in Lok Sabha polls after failing to retain Huzurabad Assembly seat in the recent elections.

Rajender had emerged as a prominent face in the state BJP after he won the bitterly-contested Huzurabad bye-election in 2021 on the saffron party’s ticket, a few months after he was dropped from the state Cabinet by then Chief Minister, KC Rao (KCR) on allegations of land grabbing.

The BJP’s campaign in Malkajgiri began on a high note with Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, conducting a roadshow here on March 15, drawing a huge public response. The BJP will be looking to bank on the ‘Modi factor’ and the perceived support for the party among the urban electorate.

The Congress party’s Sunitha Reddy, who is the chairperson of the Vikarabad Zilla Parishad, along with her husband and former minister Patnam Mahender Reddy quit BRS to join the Congress last month.

The BRS has fielded Ragidi Laxma Reddy who quit the Congress to join BRS a few days before the recent Assembly elections after he was denied a ticket from Uppal constituency.

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