Nalamada Padmavathi Reddy, Komatireddy Venkatreddy, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Geeta Reddy and Shabbir Ali were other big names that lost in the Telangana Assembly elections.

DK Aruna Jana Reddy Revanth Reddy When Congress bigwigs were defeated in Telangana
news Telangana 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 13:15

A pall of gloom was cast over the Congress’ party office in Hyderabad as the Telangana Assembly Election results were announced. The party’s strategy had failed and its bigwigs were all trailing. It was a now-or-never election for the Congress and the party had allotted tickets to all its heavyweights, risking rebellion. The biggest blow for the party came when its star leader A Revanth Reddy began trailing in the Kodangal assembly segment.

The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) working president, A Revanth Reddy was a star campaigner for the Congress in Telangana. Revanth is a close relative of senior Congress leader S Jaipal Reddy and had won the Kodangal seat in the last two Assembly elections. His defeat comes as a shock as he had almost declared himself the Chief Ministerial candidate during the election campaign.

TRS leader Patnam Narender Reddy managed to win by a margin of 9,319 votes; this, even after the scandal surrounding the Income Tax raids at his office and residence earlier in November.

Another Congress heavyweight, DK Aruna, too, suffered the second defeat in her political career in the Telangana Assembly polls. She lost to Bandla Krishna Mohan Reddy, her nephew, by 28,260 votes. She had served four consecutive terms from Gadwal. A firebrand leader, who was known as 'Gadwal Maharani', Aruna comes from a lineage of political leaders, and her family enjoyed considerable influence in the region.

The TRS managed to defeat the Congress in its stronghold Kodad with a 756 margin. Nalamada Padmavathi Reddy, wife of TPCC President Uttam Kumar Reddy, lost her home constituency to TRS leader Kanmantha Reddy Shashidhar Reddy. Padmavathi Reddy won the Kodad segment in 2014 and was one of the 21 Congress MLAs to win. Kodad is Uttam Kumar Reddy's stronghold from where he has been elected twice in the past - in 1999 and 2004.

Another bigwig to bite the dust was Kunduru Jana Reddy, the former leader of Opposition in the Telangana Legislative Assembly. Jana Reddy lost to TRS leader Nomula Narasaiah by a margin of 7,771 votes.

A prominent face in Telangana politics, Jana Reddy served as the Minister for Panchayat Raj and Rural Water Supply in Andhra Pradesh during the 2009–2014 term. He was among the most prominent cabinet ministers of the Congress party and also served as Minister for Home, Jails, Fire Service, Sainik Welfare, Printing and Stationery. In the 2009 elections, he won by a margin of 6,214 votes against TDP’s Chinappa Reddy Tera. In 2014, he won by a margin of 16,558 votes over Nomula Narsimaiah of TRS, despite severe anti-incumbency for the grand old party that year.

The TRS also managed to break into the bastion of the Congress party - Nalagonda. The party had fielded Kancharla Bhupal Reddy, a fresh face against Congress heavyweight Komatireddy Venkatreddy. Bhupal Reddy bagged 98,792 votes and defeated one of the Congress’ tallest leaders in the state with a margin of 23,698.

Komatireddy’s career in politics began when he joined the Youth Congress. A prominent leader of the party, Komatireddy won the Nalgonda assembly seat four times, in 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. He was the Minister for Information Technology in the YS Rajashekar Reddy government and also served as a Minister for Ports.

Another big loss for the Congress was the defeat of Ponnala Lakshmaiah in the Janagaon Assembly segment. The TRS leader and incumbent MLA of Janagaon Muthireddy Yadagiri Reddy won the segment again with 91,592 votes and a margin of 29,568.

Ponnala Lakshmaiah, a Congress bigwig, was fielded by the Prajakutami, with hopes of defeating Muthireddy. The former Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief was given the seat following much speculation. Lakshmaiah had lost the 2014 elections to Mutireddy, due to which several leaders of the Congress felt it was unwise to field him again. After his name was left out from the first list of candidates announced by the party, Lakshmaiah had remained confident that the party would give him the ticket to contest the seat from Jangaon. Although primary reports suggested that the seat would go to M Kodandaram, he dropped out of the contest and chose to be the face of the grand alliance instead. In exchange, if the Prajakutami came to power, he would be made the chairman of the common minimum programme (CMP), which outlines the plans of the coalition government during its reign.

The party’s senior leader Geeta Reddy, too, lost to TRS leader Manikya Rao in the Zahirabad Assembly segment, by a margin of 34,473 votes. Geeta and her husband Ramachandra Reddy had established a medical practice in Saudi Arabia. In 1985, upon the request of Rajiv Gandhi, the couple returned to India so that Geeta could work on behalf of the Indian National Congress party. She became the MLA of Gajwel in 1989 and won from the constituency again in 1999 and 2004. In 2014, she won from Zahirabad.

Another Congress stalwart, Mohammed Shabbir Ali, Opposition Leader in the legislative council, too, tasted defeat at the hands of TRS' Gampa Govardan with a margin of 5,007 votes. The political surge of Shabbir Ali, one of the prime faces in the state Congress, began in 1989 when he won the Kamareddy seat and went on to become minister twice. Ali is known to be in the good books of the Congress family right from the beginning, be it with Rajiv Gandhi or the present Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

Thus, the Congress has suffered a dramatic setback across the state, which came with the downfall of the big guns.

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