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AP Bypolls
TRS fails to capitalise on Telangana

Hyderabad, June 1
The TRS, spearheading the Telangana statehood movement in Andhra Pradesh, today suffered a major blow when Congress and TDP nominees defeated the party candidates in key constituencies in the Telugu heartland.

In an election, widely seen as a referendum on the Telangana issue, the ruling Congress and main opposition TDP posted impressive gains at the cost of the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS), which has been fighting for a separate state since its inception in 2001.

The byelections were held to 18 assembly and four Lok Sabha seats after TRS MLAs and MPs resigned en masse accusing the UPA government of failing to carve out Telangana.

Out of the four Lok Sabha seats, the TRS managed to retain only two, while the Congress and the TDP bagged one seat each.

In the 18 assembly constituencies, the Telangana party could win only seven, while the Congress and the TDP wrested six and five seats, respectively, from the TRS.

Two other assembly seats fell vacant following the death of sitting members. The TRS, which was heavily banking on Telangana sentiment factor, appeared to have failed to capitalise on it as party candidates suffered humiliating defeats in several constituencies.

Interestingly, the TDP, which has been opposing the Telangana statehood issue, has made impressive gains in the elections by winning five assembly seats and a Lok Sabha constituency.

The major blow to the TRS came in the form of drastic fall in majority for its chief K Chandrasekhar Rao who retained his Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat with a slender margin of 15,289 votes..

Rao had won the seat with a huge margin of over two lakh votes in the 2006 election.

The elections were also seen as an acid test for Rao, who quit as MP for the second time in March last over the Telangana issue.

Following the poor performance of his party in Telangana, Rao offered to quit the post of party presidentship owning moral responsibility, party sources said. PTI

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