KCR holds on to Gajwel, loses to BJP’s Venkata Ramana Reddy in Kamareddy

Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao was in a dual battle contesting from two seats this time — his home constituency of Gajwel, and for the first time, Kamareddy.
K Chandrashekar Rao
K Chandrashekar RaoFacebook
Written by:

Telangana Chief Minister and BRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao retained his hold on the Gajwel constituency for the third time in a row, winning by a margin of 45,031 votes against BJP’s Eatala Rajender. In the Kamareddy constituency, however, the incumbent CM lost the election battle against BJP’s Venkata Ramana Reddy. A former chairman of the Nizamabad zilla parishad, Venkata Ramana emerged as a surprise winner by a margin of 6,741 votes in Kamareddy, defeating both CM KCR and Congress’ CM-hopeful Revanth Reddy. 

KCR was in a dual battle contesting from two seats this time — his home constituency of Gajwel and, for the first time, Kamareddy. Sources told TNM that KCR’s decision to contest from Kamareddy was a calculated move to sway the electorate in the northern districts, where the BRS was expecting a tough challenge. 

The Election Commission of India (ECI)’s numbers as of 8.30 pm on Sunday indicate Congress sweeping to power in Telangana, for the first time since the formation of the state in 2014. The party won 62 seats and was leading in two out of the total 119. After two terms in power, the BRS was pushed to a far second to Congress, having won 34 seats and leading in five as of 8.30 pm. The BJP, which won only one seat in the 2018 elections, performed better by winning eight seats. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by Asaduddin Owaisi is set to retain its seven sitting constituencies.

In August, when BRS released its preliminary list of candidates, KCR had surprised everyone by announcing that he would contest in both Gajwel and Kamareddy. The situation became heated as the incumbent Huzurabad MLA, Eatala Rajender, challenged KCR by contesting from Gajwel. Eatala, a key figure in the Telangana statehood movement, was a former associate of KCR before a public fallout. At the same time, state Congress chief and incumbent Kodangal MLA Revanth Reddy also threw his hat into the ring in Kamareddy, directly taking on KCR. It is to be noted that in the nearly 10 years that the BRS chief has been the Chief Minister, he has not faced any major electoral battles directly. 

Facing a friend-turned-foe in Gajwel

Compared to 2018, when KCR won with a majority of more than 58,000 votes, his victory margin in Gajwel has slightly come down to just over 45,000 this time. Political observers say that Eatala Rajender found it challenging to campaign in the dual constituencies of Huzurabad and Gajwel. Facing the BRS supremo in Gajwel was also difficult, given that Eatala was seen as an outsider. 

Eatala had solely relied on the anti-incumbency factor and support of the Backward Class (BC) communities, which could not translate into votes. He belongs to the Mudiraj community, which is one of the numerically larger Backward Classes (BC) groups in Telangana. There are around 34,000 Mudiraj people in Gajwel. 

Notably, the regions of Kamareddy and Siddipet (under which the Gajwel constituency falls) has historically been dominated by the dominant caste Velama, to which KCR belongs, followed by the Reddy community.

Kamareddy: Rao vs Reddys

In Kamareddy, while it was Revanth who was leading in the first few rounds, the margin of votes between him, Venkata Ramana, and KCR thinned as the rounds progressed. In the 13th round, Venkata Ramana took the lead, pushing KCR and Revanth to second and third spot respectively. 

It appears that what worked for BJP’s Venkata Ramana, a former chairman of the Nizamabad zilla parishad, was the fact that he is a son of the soil. Both Revanth and KCR were seen as ‘outsiders’ by voters, despite being high-profile candidates. With Revanth and KCR also contesting from other constituencies, Kodangal and Gajwel respectively, Venkata Ramana was quick to point out in interviews that they would in all likelihood vacate the Kamareddy seat if they also won the traditional seats.

K Chandrashekar Rao
Congress wins Telangana Assembly polls, dislodges BRS after nine years
K Chandrashekar Rao
Who is Revanth Reddy, the man who has dethroned KCR in Telangana?

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute