KCR's nephew hopes for double hat-trick

KCR's nephew hopes for double hat-trick

Harish Rao at a campaign in Siddipet. DH PHOTO

Set to score a double hat-trick in the coming elections, Telangana Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao, the nephew of caretaker Chief Minister is contesting for the sixth consecutive time from Siddipet.

Harish was fielded from Siddipet for the first time in a by-election in 2004 when the seat was vacated by KCR on his election to Lok Sabha from Karimnagar.

In 2004, he defeated his nearest rival, TDP's Cheruku Muthyam Reddy, with a majority of over 24,829 votes.

In 2009 elections, he got a majority of 64,877 votes. In the 2014 elections that came after bifurcation, Harish got a massive victory margin of 93,928 votes over his nearest rival, Congress' T Srinivas Goud.

This was even as uncle, in the nearby Gajwel seat, got a majority of only 19,000 votes.

"He is aiming to achieve a majority of 1 lakh this time. He knows every one in the constituency by name and is available for the people of his constituency all the time," says his close associate Yella Reddy.

In addition to campaigning this area, which covers the four blocks of Siddipet, Siddipet Rural, Chinnakoduru and Nangnur, Harish has to cover campaign in four constituencies in Mahbubnagar district and his uncle's constituency of Gajwel.

The Congress has allocated the Siddipet seat to Telangana Jana Samithi candidate Bhavani Reddy of Kondapaka block.

She was the co-founder of the Australia branch of Telangana Forum and worked in the state transport corporation before embarking into real estate business in Hyderabad.

"My aim is to take the manifesto of the party and the common minimum programme to the people as fast I can," she said after filing nominations. She is hoping that Congress, CPI and TDO workers will help her in her campaign.

However, Bhavani Reddy faces rebellion from six Congress candidates who have also filed nominations.

Besides that, in 2014, Congress candidate Srinivas Goud had lost deposit as he polled only 15,371 (10.17%) votes against Harish Rao.

The BJP has fielded its district unit head Nayani Narotham Reddy, who has the advantage of being named in the first list.

Unlike Bharathi Reddy, Nayani has started his campaign already and has been travelling around the constituency targeting TRS. He is banking more on the centrally sponsored schemes.

The track record of the BJP in this segment is not encouraging. In 2009 and 2014, its candidate Choppadandi Vidyasagar had polled 3291 and 13,003 votes, respectively.