Maheshwaram poised for intense tri-contest in Telangana polls

Hyderabad: A tough triangular contest is expected in Maheshwaram constituency of Ranga Reddy district in the upcoming Assembly elections. P Sabita Indra Reddy, minister for education, is the sitting MLA from Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) from Maheshwaram constituency.

In 2018, Sabita Indra Reddy contested on a Congress ticket and won the election from Maheshwaram constituency. She later switched over to the BRS.

Sabita Reddy had defeated BRS candidate Teegala Krishna Reddy and won with a margin of 9,227 votes. Sabita Reddy got 40.76 per cent vote share while Krishna Reddy got 36.82 of total votes. Sabita Reddy received 95,481 votes while Krishna Reddy bagged 86,254 votes.

The BRS fielded Sabita Reddy as party candidate despite opposition from Krishna Reddy, who wanted the party to give him another opportunity. Krishna Reddy had won from Maheshwaram on a TDP ticket in 2014 and later joined the BRS the same year.

Sources said the BRS leadership pacified Krishna Reddy following which the leader relented. Areas falling under the Maheshwaram Assembly constituency were earlier part of the LB Nagar Assembly constituency that remained a stronghold of the Congress. Maheshwaram was carved out of LB Nagar during the delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies.

The Congress did not announce the party candidate from Maheshwaram constituency in the first list for two reasons.  Sources said that the party was trying to bring in a few rebel leaders of BRS from Maheshwaram into its fold and field them against Sabita Reddy in the elections. The second reason is there are too many ticket aspirants in Congress for the seat as there are high chances of the party candidate winning from there.

Interestingly, the Congress began its election campaign by holding a public meeting Vijaya Bheri, in Thukkuguda mandal falling in Maheshwaram constituency. Senior leaders of the party including former AICC president Sonia Gandhi and others attended the programme.

On the other hand, BJP picked Andela Sriramulu as its candidate from Maheshwaram constituency. Sriramulu contested the last elections on a BJP ticket and lost.

The BRS party in Maheshwaram enjoys support of the AIMIM. There are about 70,000 Muslim votes in Jalpally Municipality and the votes are a deciding factor. The Congress will try to woo the Muslims with its ‘Muslim Declaration’ and ‘Six Guarantees’ while the BRS is already publicising the welfare schemes introduced by its government for minorities.

The BJP, meanwhile, is also eyeing the seat and making all efforts to make its candidate successful. Recently, BJP State president and Union tourism minister G Kishan Reddy had said that BRS was trying to help AIMIM strengthen itself in the Maheshwaram Assembly segment. “CM KCR is helping AIMIM make Maheshwaram its turf. So many votes were registered and he allotted 2BHK houses to AIMIM cadre. Please don’t allow this Assembly segment to slip into the hands of the AIMIM,” he said in the public meeting.