Hyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Monday won the by-election to the Banswada assembly seat in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh with a huge majority of nearly 50,000 votes. Riding on the demand for a separate Telangana, TRS wrested the seat from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which bagged the seat in the 2009 elections but did not take part this time in view of the Telangana sentiment.

P. Srinivas Reddy, the TDP winner of 2009, was re-elected, this time as the TRS candidate, by 49,989 votes, against his nearest rival S. Srinivas Goud of the ruling Congress.

Of the 122,872 votes polled, Srinivas Reddy secured 83,245 votes while the Congress candidate got 33,256 votes.

The performance of the Congress candidate was surprising as he not only saved his deposit but also polled a sizeable number of votes although the TRS was confident of winning the seat by over 100,000 votes.

With this win, TRS increased its tally in the Andhra Pradesh assembly to 12. Srinivas Reddy alleged that the TDP had appealed to people to vote for the Congress.

The Congress too contested the election on the Telangana plank but TDP stayed away from the contest.

Over 77 percent of 1.60 lakh eligible voters voted in the Oct 13 battle.

The election in Nizamabad district was caused by the resignation of Srinivas Reddy, who quit TDP to join TRS to fight for a separate Telangana state.

Though there were six candidates in the fray, it was a direct fight between Srinivas Reddy and Srinivas Goud.

TRS completely dominated the campaigning as none of the top Congress leaders, including Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana, visited the constituency.

The by-poll was held at a time when a general strike has been on in the region for one month.

TRS bagged only 10 assembly seats in the 2009 elections. Last year, all its legislators resigned on the Telangana issue and were re-elected with a huge majority.

TRS also increased its strength as one TDP legislator, who had resigned on the same issue, won the by-election as a TRS candidate.

Telangana accounts for 117 seats in the 294-member Andhra assembly.

Opposition shocks Congress-NCP in Khadakwasla

Maharashtra's ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance was defeated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena combine in the Khadakwasla assembly by-election.Bhimrao Tapkir, who belongs to the BJP, trounced the Congress-NCP nominee Harshada Wanjale by a margin of 4,000 votes. The polling took place Oct 13.

Hailing Tapkir's victory, BJP leader Eknath Khadse said it was 'not surprising but on expected lines' in view of the Congress-NCP's 'misrule' in the state.

Ironically, the seat was earlier held by Harshada Wanjale's late husband Ramesh Wanjale, who belonged to the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. His widow contested on NCP ticket but could not capture popular imagination.

Ramesh Wanjale died three months ago, necessitating the election. The MNS did not put up a candidate as a tribute to Wanjale's memory.

JD(U) retains Daraunda assembly seat in by-poll

Dealing a blow to opposition RJD-LJP combine and the Congress once again, the ruling JD(U) retained the Daraunda assembly constituency seat in Bihar.
   
JD(U) candidate Kavita Singh defeated her nearest RJD candidate Parmeshwar Singh by 20,092 votes.
   
Singh, the daughter in-law of the former MLA Jagmato Devi, polled 51,754 votes as against 31,662 votes secured by the RJD candidate who was supported by the party's strongmen Md Shahabuddin and Prabhunath Singh, besides the LJP.
   
The Congress candidate Kalika Sharan Singh and the CPI(M-L) nominee Jainath Yadav stood a distant third and fourth polling 4238 and 3754 votes respectively.
   
Siwan's district magistrate-cum-returning officer Lokesh Kumar Singh announced the result after counting of votes held amid tight security arrangements.
   
There were as many as nine candidates, including three women, in the bypoll for Daraunda assembly seat that was held on October 13 in which 44 percent electorate had exercised their franchisee.
   
The Daraunda assembly seat had fallen vacant consequent to the death of the sitting JD(U) MLA Jagmato Devi in June and the party had given ticket to her newly-wed daughter in-law to contest the bypoll.

The campaigning in Daraunda assembly bypoll was a high pitched affair with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi and other top leaders campaigning for the JD(U) candidate, while the RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, the LJP Chief Ramvilas Paswan and former MP Prabhunath Singh had dug their heels in the constituency to solicit support in favour of the RJD nominee.
   
Kumar thanked the people of the constituency for reposing faith in the party.
   
With this win the Bihar Assembly's effective strength of 242 constitutes of JD(U)'s 117 MLAs, while its ally BJP 91, followed by RJD 22, LJP 1, INC 4 and 7 others.

(Agencies)