Karimnagar: Despite all efforts by senior party leaders, a majority of BJP candidates failed to even get back their deposits in the recently held elections in the district. In the 13 segments of erstwhile Karimnagar district, only three candidates managed to get back their deposits.
Out of the three, Bandi Sanjay Kumar stood second with 33.81 per cent votes, while Choppadandi and Korutla candidates got below 10 per cent votes. While Sanjay was always with BJP, Bodige Shobha (Choppadandi) and JN Venkatesh (Korutla) joined the party before the State Assembly elections. A majority of the candidates managed only fourth and fifth places, while some got votes less than Independents.
A major upset for the party was senior leader and former MLA Gujjula Ramakrishna Reddy, who lost his deposit in the Peddapalli segment. He got 5.03 (9,375) per cent of the total votes polled in the segment (1,86,094). Former MLA Shobha contested on a BJP ticket after she was denied a TRS ticket. Out of the 1,67,277 votes polled in Choppadandi, she got 9.46 per cent (15,835) votes.
Another nominee who got his deposit was JN Venkatesh from Korutla, who secured 9.84 per cent (16,046) votes as against 1,63,007 polled in the segment. A doctor by profession and senior Congress leader, Venkatesh joined BJP before the elections.
The biggest blow for the saffron party was from its two candidates — Raghu Puppala (Huzurabad) and Rendla Sanath Kumar (Manthani) — who polled less than one per cent votes. While Sanath Kumar secured 0.91 per cent (1,618) votes, Raghu got 0.96 per cent (1,683).
Balmuri Vanitha (Ramagundam) with 1.14 per cent (1,553 votes) and Avunoori Ramakanth (Sircilla) with 1.84 per cent (3,245 votes) got less than two per cent votes. Vanitha is the only woman candidate who contested on a BJP ticket in the district.
Others who lost deposits were Pratapa Ramakrishna (Vemulawada) with 4.25 per cent votes, Kannam Anjaiah (Dharmapuri) 3.2 per cent, Ravinder Reddy Muduganti (Jagitial) 2.99 per cent, Gaddam Nagaraju (Manakondur) 2.52 per cent and Chanda Srinivas Reddy (Husnabad) 2.5 percent.
The party’s ambition was to win maximum number of seats in Karimnagar, evident from the number of star campaigners who descended on the district. Besides BJP national president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed a public meeting in the town on the concluding day of campaigning, while his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Padnavis participated in an election meeting in Vemulawada. Union Textiles Minister Smriti
Irani also addressed public meetings in Ramagundam and Manakondur constituencies.
That the party’s ambition fell flat despite the perception that it had a considerable cadre base in Karimnagar speaks volumes of the confidence people have on the ruling TRS.