In Eatala Vs TRS election, Eatala wins

To recall, Eatala Rajender recorded a straight win in six elections. He was first elected as an MLA in 2014, won the by-polls in 2007, general elections in 2009, 2014, 2018, and now another by-poll in 2021.

By Coreena Suares  Published on  2 Nov 2021 3:30 PM GMT
In Eatala Vs TRS election, Eatala wins

Hyderabad: Barring two rounds of the 22, TRS-turned-BJP senior leader Eatala Rajender spearheaded the race and won the high octane Huzurabad by-polls with a majority of 24,068 votes. This marks his seventh win as an MLA from his home turf, however on a BJP ticket.

"The voters gave a resounding slap on KCR's face, he (KCR) tried everything to defeat but failed to believe in the ballot. My victory is dedicated to the people of Huzurabad. Dalit Bandhu should be implemented in entire Huzurabad and other parts of the state and similar schemes should be implemented irrespective of the caste', Eatala said in his victory speech. He thanked BJP tall leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah and said he would seek probe into the irregularities conducted in the election.

Eatala secured 1,06,780 votes plus 503 postal ballot votes and was declared the winner, ending the 3-months long election campaign. Besides amplifying the growing saffron party's vote share in Telangana, Eatala joins BJP's Goshamahal and Dubbaka MLAs T. Raja Singh and Madhavaneni Raghunandhan Rao, respectively, in the Legislative Assembly.

At the beginning of the election, TRS candidate Gellu Srinivas Yadav was leads in the postal ballots. Out of the total 723 votes, 503 were for TRS, 159 were for BJP, 32 were for Congress while 14 were invalid.

Falling second in line is TRS student leader Gellu Srinivas who gave a robust fight to Eatala and secured 83,435 votes. Thanks to TRS' trump card and 'mass leader' T. Harish Rao and the loyal supporters of the ruling party who have been on ground for months.

Significantly, the Telangana Congress party's vote share has plunged in a span of four years with regard to Huzurabad. Congress turncoat and now TRS leader Peddi Kaushik Reddy whose MLC nomination is hanging in the air secured 61,121 votes in the 2018 general elections. The young leader had given Eatala a decent fight - the latter had secured 1.04 lakh votes. Cut to 2021 and Congress candidate Balmoor Venkat Narsing Rao secured only 3,012 votes out of the 2,05236 polled. Congress losing votes is seen as BJP's gain.

Interestingly, 1036 voters chose NOTA. BJP secured 51.96 percent of the total votes polled followed by TRS 40.38 percent and Congress 1.46 percent. 0.5 percent of people chose NOTA.

What led to Eatala's win?

Sympathy, defiance, and stronghold in the constituency worked in Eatala's favour. Speaking to NewsMeter, election observer Mohan Guruswamy said, "Eatala was victimized and his supporters were hurt about how badly he was treated. Corruption can't be an issue in the KCR government. It is Eatala's personal win but for the BJP to claim. To recall, BJP lost its deposit in Nagarjuna Sagar by-polls. While Congress in the big fight kept it low key. TPCC president and parliamentarian A. Revanth Reddy knew that Congress would not win so he put up a weak link. Can't complain about the Congress. People knew that voting for the Congress would be a waste in Huzurabad. In the election between Eatala vs KCR, Eatala won. Eatala's win in Huzurabad is a personal defeat for chief minister KCR".

The Huzurabad by-polls strike a similarity with that of Dubbaka: in both cases TRS leaders Eatala Rajender and M. Raghunandhan Rao walked out of the pink party, faced an election, and won the break-neck battle. Eatala was already a sitting MLA when he resigned but Raghunandhan was not. He had contested twice but lost. However, the by-polls brought him luck.

To recall, Eatala Rajender recorded a straight win in seven elections. He was first elected as an MLA in 2004 from Kamalapur, he won the election with a majority of 19,619 votes.Later, he won the 2008 by-polls with a majority of 22,284, from the same constituency.

During the Congress reign in united Andhra Pradesh, Eatala faced the general elections in 2009 and won with a (majority of 5,035). In 2010 by polls he fought from Huzurabad and won (majority-79,227). Later, he secured a win in 2014 general elections from Huzurabad with a majority- (57,037),2018 (majority -43,719) and now another by-poll in 2021. Eatala's win will also boost BJP's run-up to the 2023 election elections in Telangana.

Did last minute election stunt Dalit Bandhu work ?

Shalapalli Village, where Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao launched the Dalit Bandu scheme, saw high voting pattern for Eatala Rajender. Speaking to NewsMeter, C R Gowri Shankar- political analyst said, "Dalit Bandhu scheme is double-edge weapon, KCR tried to lured dalits but in the process it antagonized other section who did not benefit. Going by the results, even in places where the scheme was launched, voters did not take it seriously. They instead sympathised with Eatala Rajender, following his unceremonious exit from the party and cases filed against him. Eatala has played an integral role in the Telangana agitation and been a close aid of TRS supermo KCR, he joined TRS in 2003 and held important portfolios as a minister. His election records indicate how tall a leader he is".

One of the costliest elections

What makes 2021 by-polls different from the rest is the flow of money. It is alleged that BJP and TRS distributed money ranging between Rs. 6,000 to 10,000 per voter. After the campaign, voters staged protests against the uneven distribution of money. Those who missed the envelope staged a protest demanding money.

V.V Rao, the convenor for Election watch Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, said, "Huzurabad is one of the costliest elections in the history of Indian elections which is an insult to democracy. We have seen parties bribing voters with amounts ranging from Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 10,000. We saw opportunist politics by the leaders and voters. All the muscle and money power was used to work for the voters. In keeping up with Newton's third law, the voters react to the same. There is no confidence among the voters in a party. An election gets costlier further."

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