Hyderabad: Malkajgiri Assembly constituency in Greater Hyderabad will be a prestige battle for both Mynampally Hanumantha Rao and leaders of the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).
Even after BRS supremo KCR retained him as the party’s candidate, Hanumantha Rao snubbed the leader by walking out of the party. He was miffed over the leadership not accepting his demand to give a ticket to his son Rohith Rao from Medak.
Hanumantha Rao and Rohit joined the Congress party and secured the tickets for Malkajgiri and Medak respectively.
The Congress set aside its Udaipur resolution of one ticket for one family and ignored the dissidence within the camp in both the constituencies to give tickets to the father-son duo.
The BRS named Marri Rajasekhar Reddy as its replacement for Hanumantha Rao. The son-in-law of labour minister and leading businessman Malla Reddy, Rajasekhar Reddy is set to give a tough fight to the sitting MLA. He had narrowly lost the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Malkajgiri constituency to Congress leader A Revanth Reddy.
The BJP has once again fielded N Ramchander Rao, who was the runner-up both in 2014 and 2018.
In 2009 when the constituency was created, the Congress party’s Akula Rajender was elected from here defeating the nearest rival C. Kanaka Reddy of the PRP by 9,194 seats. The TDP’s Sharada Mahesh was a close third.
In the 2014 elections, C. Kanaka Reddy was elected on the TRS (now BRS) ticket in a close fight, defeating the BJP’s Ramchander Rao by 2,768 votes. The Congress candidate had finished a distant third.
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The TRS fielded Hanumantha Rao in 2018 and it proved a cakewalk for him as he trounced Ramchander Rao of the BJP by a margin of over 73,000 votes. The Congress and the TDP had left the seat for their ally TJS whose candidate K Dileep Kumar finished a poor third.
Hanumantha Rao was with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) before joining the TRS. He was elected as MLA from Ramayampet and Medak constituencies. After joining the TRS, he contributed to strengthening the party in Greater Hyderabad and the undivided Medak district.
Hanumanth Rao had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Malkajgiri as a TRS candidate but suffered defeat at the hands of Malla Reddy, who was elected on the TDP ticket. Later, Malla Reddy joined the TRS.
Hanumantha Rao’s resignation came as a jolt to the BRS just ahead of elections. The BRS is deploying all its might to defeat Hanumantha Rao. The party has given the task to its senior leader and minister T Harish Rao, who is the nephew of KCR.
Hanumantha Rao had launched a scathing attack on Harish Rao over denial of ticket to his son from Medak.
Alleging that Harish Rao spoiled the political career of many, Hanumantha Rao vowed to politically finish him off. He blamed the minister for the lack of development in Medak.
Hanumantha Rao asked how a man who came to Hyderabad with just rubber slippers and a trunk had amassed such huge wealth.
Harish Rao while campaigning in Malkajgiri has promised that if Rajasekhar Reddy wins, he will adopt Malkajgiri for comprehensive development. He also predicted that Hanumanth Rao and his son both will lose.
The BRS has appointed MLC Shambirpur Raju as the incharge for Malkajgiri constituency. Malla Reddy and several other BRS leaders are also actively campaigning against Hanumantha Rao.
Hanumantha Rao, who had polled over 1.14 lakh votes in 2018, is confident that the work he did in the constituency during the last five years will see him through.
With over 4.68 voters it is one of the biggest Assembly segments in the state in terms of the number of voters. They will decide on November 30 who wins this battle of prestige.