Hyderabad: TRS candidate Palla Rajeshwar Reddy retained his Legislative Council seat after a tense battle with independent candidate Teenmaar Mallanna, late on Saturday night. The result for the Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda (WKN) graduates constituency election is expected to be officially announced by the Election Commission on Sunday.
That victory was the icing on the cake after TRS candidate Surabhi Vani Devi, daughter of former prime minister late P.V. Narasimha Rao, won the election from the Mahbubnagar-Ranga Reddy-Hyderabad (MRRH) graduates constituency. She secured 56.17 per cent of the vote, beating 92 candidates and wresting the seat from BJP MLC N. Ramchander Rao
Vani Devi met TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao at Pragathi Bhavan. The TRS chief also put out a congratulatory message for Rajeshwar Reddy on his victory. TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao thanked voters, saying, on Twitter, “Gratitude to the voters for showing up in large numbers & reposing faith in KCR Garu’s nominees. (sic)”
At Nalgonda, where counting for the WKN seat was underway, Rajeshwar Reddy had secured 1,32,681 votes against 1,08,339 for Mallanna after 68 candidates were eliminated from the race. Since the TRS candidate could not get the 50 per cent-plus-one vote, the requirement to win the Legislative Council election, the process of transferring the votes of Mallanna, the last remaining rival, to Rajeshwar Reddy was going on till reports last came in.
The two candidates shared the second preference votes of TJS founder Prof. Kondadaram who got 1,03,030 prior to his elimination from the race. The TRS candidate has to make up 21,356 votes to reach the victory mark, which he is expected to do with Mallanna’s votes
Ninety-three candidates were in the fray for the MRRH constituency and 71 for WKN. The WKN seat saw 3,86,320 votes polled (76.41 per cent) and MRRH 3,57,354. Polling was held on March 14, and counting of votes began on March 17. The process has to be completed by March 22.
Vani Devi secured 1,12,689 first preference votes followed by the BJP's Ramchander Rao with 1,04,668, independent candidate Prof K. Nageshwar (53,610) and the Congress' G. Chinna Reddy (31,554). The TRS had a lead of 8,021 votes in the first preference votes.
Since the victory mark was not reached, the Election Commission initiated the elimination process by transferring the second preference votes from the candidates with the least votes to the leader of the count.
After eliminating 91 candidates in stages, Vani was given 36,580-second preference votes followed by Ramchander Rao with 32,989. With the winning mark not in sight, election officials deleted Ramchander Rao's vote, as is the process, which resulted in Vani’s victory.
The EC declared that Vani had secured 1,89,339 valid votes and the 1,47,700 votes polled for 92 rivals were exhausted. During the 96 hours of counting, as many as 9,600 officials participated for the Hyderabad-Ranga Reddy-Mahabubnagar MLC graduate constituency.
Following Vani Devi's victory, celebrations started at TRS Bhavan with party leaders and activists bursting firecrackers. The celebrations are expected to continue on Sunday.