Hyderabad: Electioneering for the April 17 Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly bypoll came to an end on Thursday, with the ruling TRS confident of retaining the seat. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s public meeting at Haliya on Wednesday was a clincher when he promised completion of the key Nellikal Lift Irrigation Scheme within 18 months among other assurances. The Chief Minister was also categorical in stating that the voting should not be merely on the basis of promises but also the good work done by the TRS government in the past seven years.
Essentially seen as a fight between the TRS candidate Nomula Bhagath and veteran Congress leader K Jana Reddy, the bypoll has 39 other candidates including BJP’s Pandugothu Ravi Kumar in the fray. The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Nomula Narasimaiah in December last. Besides the TRS government’s efforts to propel rapid development in the erstwhile Nalgonda district, the people-friendly, development-oriented image of Narasimaiah makes Bhagath the natural choice of the constituents.
Jana Reddy, an old Congress war-horse who served seven terms as MLA including three terms from Nagarjuna Sagar, is seen as a person who did nothing for the development of the constituency. He was defeated in the 2018 Assembly elections by Narasimaiah.
On the other hand, 37-year-old Bhagath’s entry into electoral politics comes across as a whiff of fresh air, and he comes armed with a good CV. A BTech and LLM degree holder, Bhagath worked as a software engineer before he started practicing law in the Telangana High Court. BJP fielded Ravi Kumar, a practicing doctor who hails from the Lambada community that accounts for 40,000 votes in the constituency. The caste dynamics aside, Ravi Kumar has nothing much to boast about in politics.
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