The Congress party announced its candidate for the much-anticipated Huzurabad bye-poll on Saturday, October 2. The party named Balamoor Venkat Narsing Rao, president of the party’s student wing NSUI (National Students Union of India) in Telangana, ending prolonged speculation over its choice. Balamoor Venkat, who is 29 years old, has been involved in taking up students’ issues in the state, leading protests amid the pandemic over postponement or cancellation of exams. Venkat hails from Tharalpalli village of Peddapalli district in Telangana.
Meanwhile, TRS’ student wing chief Gellu Srinivas Yadav, who is the party candidate for the bye-election, filed his nomination on Friday, October 1, the first day for filing of nominations. With the Election Commission of India issuing a notification, the poll process has begun for the October 30 bye-poll. Srinivas Yadav filed two nomination sets. Mohd Mansoor Ali of Anna YSR Party also filed his nomination on Friday.
As per the schedule announced by the EC, the last date for filing nominations is October 8. Scrutiny of nominations will be taken up on October 11. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 13. Polling will be held on October 30 while counting of votes will be taken up on November 2. The entire poll process has to be completed by November 5.
Meanwhile, TRS submitted a list of 20 of its star campaigners to the Election Commission. The list includes Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, ministers KT Rama Rao, Harish Rao, Gangula Kamalakar and Koppula Eshwar.
The Huzurabad Assembly seat fell vacant with the resignation of former minister Eatala Rajender after he was dropped from the state Cabinet by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao in May following allegations of land encroachment. Rajender also quit the TRS to join the BJP and will be entering the fray as the saffron party's candidate.
The bye-election raised the political temperature in the state as Rajender targeted the Chief Minister by alleging that he was insulted in the party. The BJP is citing Rajender's alleged humiliation to mount a fresh attack on TRS for what it calls the family rule of KCR. After ending his nearly two-decade-long association with TRS, Rajender launched an aggressive campaign in Huzurabad targeting the TRS government. BJP's state unit chief Bandi Sanjay is also currently undertaking a 'padayatra' which will cover the Huzurabad constituency as well.
The TRS government also picked the constituency for implementing its prestigious 'Dalit Bandhu' scheme on a pilot basis. It has already sanctioned Rs 2,000 crore to implement the scheme, under which every Dalit family will be given a grant of Rs 10 lakh to start a business of their choice. The government's move came under criticism from the opposition parties and some NGOs who alleged that the TRS is trying to lure voters. A couple of NGOs also moved the Telangana High Court, but the latter refused to interfere in the matter.
With IANS inputs