Adilabad: The Bharatiya Janata Party never won an Assembly election from any of the segments that comprise the Adilabad Lok Sabha constituency. But this did not prevent the BJP candidate Soyam Bapu Rao from winning the LS contest helping the party script a record of sorts. Adilabad is normally considered a bastion of Congress and Telugu Desam Party.
Adilabad Parliamentary constituency was created in 1957. While the Congress party’s nominee registered victory from the segment for a record eight times, the Telugu Desam Party clinched it six times. The newly floated Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) bagged it twice, in 2004 and 2014. The national party BJP had not braved to field a nominee from this segment in 2014 general elections as well.
Similarly, none of the saffron party’s candidates won from any of the seven Assembly constituencies in elections to Legislative Assembly in December, 2018. Only two nominees, Payal Shankar and Dr P Rama Devi, stood in the second spot in Adilabad and Mudhole segments. The others had to be content with third and fourth places in the remaining Khanapur, Nirmal, Sirpur (T) and Boath constituencies.
However, the BJP could clinch Adilabad Parliamentary Constituency with its candidate securing a share of 35.5 per cent of the votes. The party’s nominee Bapu Rao received 3,77,374 votes against 3,18,814 votes polled for TRS candidate and sitting MP G Nagesh. Bapu Rao also received more votes than his opponents in five out seven Assembly segments – Khanapur, Nirmal, Mudhole, Adilabad, Boath.
Significantly, the teacher-turned politician, who belongs to Raj Gond tribe, polled 75,036 votes when compared to 44,099 votes secured by TRS from Mudhole Assembly constituency, indicating a gap of 30,937 votes. He could record more votes, somewhere between 16,000 and 17,000, than his opponent from Khanapur, Nirmal, Adilabad and Boath Assembly constituencies, showing the gradual rise of the BJP.
Rao, who spearheaded Adivasi movement, demanding exclusion of tribals from STs, lost to TRS nominee from Boath Assembly constituency in the recent Assembly elections in which he contested as a Congress party nominee.