Riding on the crest of Telangana sentiment for a separate state, Telangana Rashtriya Samithi president and former Union minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has scored a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha by-election in Karimnagar constituency in this backward region even as the Congress has wrested Bobbili Lok Sabha seat in north coastal Andhra from the Telugu Desam Party in a neck-to-neck race.
On conclusion of counting, KCR was declared elected, trouncing his nearest Congress rival T Jeevan Reddy by 201,582 votes. In Bobbili, Congress candidate Botsa Jhansi Lakshmi won the seat by a razor-thin margin of 157 votes over her nearest Telugu Desam Party rival K Appala Naidu.
TDP finished third and BJP was relegated to the fourth position in Karimnagar. BJP was placed in third position in Bobbili too.
Barring Jagtial assembly segment, held in the Assembly by Jeevan Reddy, KCR led massively in all the six other segments-Karimnagar, Choppadandi, Buggaram, Metpalli, Sircilla and Nerella-in the sprawling constituency. He polled 378,030 votes. Jeevan Reddy came second with 176,448 votes.
Ramana, TDP candidate who had represented this Lok Sabha constituency once,secured170,268 votes this time. BJP’s Vidyasagar Rao, who was elected twice in the past and served as a minister of state at the Center during the NDA regime, could get only 21,144 votes and forfeited his deposit.
In Bobbili constituency, it was a neck-and-neck race that ultimately saw the Congress candidate Jhansi Lakshmi emerge victorious, though by a miniscule margin of 157 votes after re-totalling was conducted by the Returning Officer.
Jhansi Lakshmi is the chairperson of Vizianagaram Zilla Parishad and wife of State Marketing Minister Botsa Satyanarayana. The defeated TDP candidate Appala Naidu is the son of former MP K Pydithalli Naidu, whose death caused the by-election. BJP candidate P Sanyasi Raju finished a distant third and lost his deposit.
By Syed Amin Jafri