TRS scraped through in Parkal జూన్ 16, 2012Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in agitation, Andhra, bandh, BJP, cinema, Congress, corruption, elections, Harish, Identity, JAC, Jai Andhra, Kakatiya, KCR, Mahabubnagar, Mulki, Orugallu, Polavaram, politics, regionalism, Settler, SEZ, Sonia, suicide, TDF, TDP, Telangana, TRS, violence, Warangal, Y S Jagan, YSR.
Tags: caste, electoral politics, Geesukonda, Konda Surekha, lull, Mahbubabad, Moluguri Bikshapati, odarpu yatra, Parkal by-election, Sakala Janula Samme, Samaikya Andhra, Sangem, sentiment, Sharmila, Telangana vaadam, TJAC, Vijayamma, Vijaychander
Parkal result a wake up call for Telangana Rashtra Samithi
Arun Kumar Govindraj, TNN, June 16, 2012
HYDERABAD: The close finish in Parkal between K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress has thrown up serious questions about the strength of the ongoing separate Telangana movement with the TRS itself admitting that it needs to regroup and introspect.
TRS ought to be worried by the slender majority of 1,562 votes by which its candidate Moluguri Bikshapati won as Parkal lies in the heart of Telangana statehood movement — Warangal. TRS earlier had boasted that it would win by a majority of 35,000-40,000 votes. But evidently, the voter was equally divided between the pro-Telangana protagonist and a party which espouses the united Andhra cause.
In fact, the fight turned out to be a bit like a T-20 cricket match with leads swinging back and forth between the TRS and YSR CP. Bhikhapati, who was leading comfortably with 5,999-vote lead till the 12th round, slipped to a slender majority of 283 votes in the 17th round. At one point, YSR CP’s Konda Surekha led by 16 votes. The TRS candidate gained in the last 19th round and snatched victory. But where did the TRS calculations go wrong? The Friday’s result is not only a wake up call for the party but raises questions on the effectiveness of the movement.
Of late, there have been signs of the pro-statehood movement losing steam. Dharnas and strikes backed by TRS have become too few. But what stumped the TRS and which may not bode well for the T-movement, is the fact that the people were least concerned about Jagan’s corruption case.
“This result has certainly shocked us. We need to seriously introspect as to where the T-statehood movement is heading. We cannot be complacent any more,” pointed out a senior TRS leader. A combination of factors has worked against the pro-Telangana champions in this election. Apart from cross voting, Konda Surekha’s hold over some mandals in the constituency, TRS delay in announcing its candidate, Telangana JAC’s confusion in supporting the TRS candidate and Vijayamma statement that they respect T-statehood sentiment have impacted the final result.
“We need to pull up our socks and strengthen the hands of T-protagonists. We will regroup and take the T-sentiment to every nook and corner,” asserted TRS MLA Harish Rao, who was Parkal constituency in-charge. Also, the TRS could not put its best foot forward as the votes polled by the nine independents (8,326) and BJP candidate Vijaychander (9,160) cut into its candidate’s vote-bank. He, however, said that more than the Jagan factor, it was Surekha’s crowd-pulling abilities which gave the jitters to the T-protagonists. In fact, TRS has been attacking Jagan that he is the most corrupt politician in the world and that a vote for Jagan would mean a vote against Telangana.
“However, the voter, for some reason, was inclined towards Surekha who is a strong leader in her own right or was swayed by sympathy for Jagan,” explained Sudershan Reddy, former Kakatiya University professor.
Also, CDs which were circulated by TRS in the run-up to the election showing Surekha hurling stones at T-protestors in Mahbubabad railway station when they blocked Jagan’s Odarpu yatra did not weave any magic with the voter.
Surekha had quit her seat twice – once in support of T-sentiment and again for the sake of Jagan. But strangely, Surekha ended up as the sore loser.
YSR CP puts up nail-biting competition
The contest in Parkal, the lone assembly seat in Telangana region, turned out to be a nightmare for TRS as YSR Congress candidate Konda Surekha gave a tough fight to TRS candidate M Bhikshapati as the lead positions kept changing frequently. The TRS candidate finally won the seat with a majority of just 1,562 votes, which was the lowest margin of all the candidates while the highest margin of 56,891 votes was recorded by G Srikanth Reddy of YSR CP in Rayachoti in Kadapa district. Kakatiya Medical College in Warangal, the counting centre for Parkal witnessed tension kept building up in the final rounds of counting in both YSR CP and TRS camps. In fact, TRS party office in Hyderabad was tense as party leaders kept their fingers crossed, while party activists waited with bated breath in Warangal. “The 19th round counting was like a 20-20 cricket match. Finally, when Bhikshapati secured 1,006 votes and with 556 votes in 18th round, he scraped through with 1,562 votes,” a TRS leader exclaimed.