With massive gains in Telangana, BJP poses new challenge for Congress


by IANS | Wed, Jun 05, 2024, 12:30 PM

Hyderabad, June 5 (IANS) Six months after capturing power in Telangana, the Congress faces a new challenge from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as it doubled its Lok Sabha tally in the state to eight.

Building on its impressive performance in the recent Assembly elections, the BJP made big inroads to win eight out of 17 Lok Sabha seats, almost reaching its target of 10 seats.

The BJP candidates also finished runner-up in six other constituencies.

This is the BJP’s best-ever performance in Telangana, which is seen as the party’s second gateway to south India after Karnataka.

The Congress, which was hoping to win 10-12 seats, could win only eight seats. The state ruling party suffered defeat in not only Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy’s home district Mahabubnagar but also lost Malkajgiri, from where Revanth Reddy was elected Lok Sabha in the previous elections.

The BJP, which won four seats in 2019 with a vote share of 19.5 per cent, has improved its vote share to 35.08 per cent.

This is a huge gain for the BJP, which got 13.90 per cent votes in the November 2023 Assembly elections and won eight seats in the 119-member Assembly.

With the main opposition Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) virtually wiped out in these elections, the BJP is likely to become more aggressive as the opposition party in taking on the ruling Congress.

Both the BJP and Congress gained at the cost of BRS which drew a blank. This is the worst-ever performance for the BRS since the party’s inception in 2001.

The BRS was hoping to salvage some pride after losing power to the Congress.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) retained the Hyderabad seat as its president Asaduddin Owaisi recorded his fifth consecutive victory.

The BJP, which had won four seats in 2019, not only retained them but also wrested four seats from BRS and Congress.

Expanding its presence, the BJP bagged Malkajgiri and Chevella seats, both adjoining Hyderabad, for the first time. It also clinched victories in Medak and Mahabubnagar, which it had won in the past.

Union Minister and state BJP president G. Kishan Reddy retained Secunderabad by a margin of 49,944 votes over his nearest rival Danam Nagender of the Congress.

Nagender was elected to the Assembly as a BRS candidate in recent elections but defected to Congress and secured the party ticket.

BJP general secretary Bandi Sanjay Kumar retained Karimnagar by a margin of 2,25,209 votes against his nearest rival V. Rajender Rao.

The BJP also retained the Nizamabad seat, where the sitting MP D. Arvind defeated Congress' T. Jeevan Reddy by 1.09 lakh votes.

The BJP also retained Adilabad, where its candidate Godam Ganesh secured the victory by a margin of 90,652 votes against Athram Suguna of the Congress.

Former minister Eatala Rajender, who was defeated in recent Assembly elections, won the Malkajgiri seat for BJP, defeating P. Suneetha Mahender Reddy by a huge margin of over 3.91 lakh votes.

Another key BJP leader M. Raghunandan Rao, who too had suffered defeat in Assembly elections, won the Medak seat. He defeated Congress' Neelam Madhu by a margin of 39,139 votes. The BRS lost the seat for the first time after 2004.

This is also a huge blow for BRS as Medak is the home district of party chief and former Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who represents the Gajwel Assembly segment under the Medak constituency. The BRS had won six out of seven Assembly segments under this parliamentary constituency.

Konda Vishweshwar Reddy of the BJP bagged the Chevella seat by a margin of over 1.72 lakh votes. G. Ranjith Reddy of the Congress finished runner-up. In 2019, Ranjith Reddy was elected as BRS candidate but he switched loyalties to Congress after he was denied re-nomination.

BJP’s national vice-president D. K. Aruna won Mahabubnagar by a margin of over 4,000 votes against Challa Vamshi Chand Reddy of Congress. This is also a big setback for Congress as Mahabubnagar is the home district of Chief Minister Revanth Reddy.

The Congress, which bagged three Lok Sabha seats in 2019 with a 30.2 per cent vote share, also increased its vote share to 40.10 per cent.

In Assembly elections held in November 2023, the Congress party won 64 seats in the 119-member Assembly, with a 39.40 per cent vote share.

The BRS, which had won 39 seats with 37.35 per cent vote share, suffered a massive loss as the vote share plummeted to 16.68 per cent.

The Congress retained Nalgonda and Bhongir seats and wrested Peddpalle, Nagarkurnool, Warangal, Khammam, Zahirabad and Mahbubabad seats from BRS.

In Nalgonda, Kunduru Raghuveer defeated his nearest rival S. Saidi Reddy of BJP by 5,59,905 votes, one of the highest victory margins in the country.

Raghuveer, son of senior Congress leader K. Jana Reddy, polled 7,84,337 votes while Sadidi Reddy secured 2,24,432 votes.

Kadiyam Kavya, who had defected to Congress after being fielded by the BRS from Warangal constituency, won the seat by a margin of over 2.20 lakh votes.

Ramasahayam Raghuram Reddy of Congress won the Khammam seat by a huge margin of over 4.67 lakh votes.

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