The ruling TRS candidate and former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao’s daughter S Vani Devi was ahead of her nearest BJP rival after three rounds as counting of votes in the election to two Telangana Legislative Council seats from graduates constituencies was underway on Thursday night. The process of counting of votes began on Wednesday but is expected to conclude on Friday or later as newspaper-sized ballot papers were used for polling in view of the large number of candidates in the fray and also because the voters exercised their franchise in a preferential method.
Vani Devi, an educationist, was leading by 4,444 votes over her BJP rival and sitting MLC N Ramachander Rao after the completion of third round, official sources said. Vani Devi secured 53,007 votes, while Rao got 48,563 votes, they said.
Counting was also underway in Nalgonda falling under the Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda Graduates constituency, where TRS nominee Palla Rajeshwar Reddy was leading. Polling was held on March 14 for the two Graduates’ constituencies.
The total number of voters in the two constituencies is over 10 lakh. Vani Devi is the ruling TRS candidate from the Mahabubnagar-Rangareddy-Hyderabad Graduates constituency.
As many as 93 candidates were in the fray from Mahabubnagar-Rangareddy-Hyderabad constituency, while 71 nominees contested from the Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda constituency. The votes of the Mahabubnagar-Rangareddy-Hyderabad constituency are counted in the state capital.
Having suffered setbacks in the Dubbak assembly constituency bypoll and Hyderabad civic polls late last year, the TRS made a determined bid to win the two seats, while the BJP sought to continue the momentum following its impressive performance in the Hyderabad civic election. The Mahabubnagar-Rangareddy-Hyderabad seat is witnessing a close contest as G Chinna Reddy of Congress, TDP’s Telangana unit president L Ramana and former MLC K Nageshwar, a journalism professor and prominent analyst, are in the fray.
The main candidates from Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda seat are sitting MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy of TRS, G Premender Reddy (BJP), Ramulu Naik (Congress) and Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) leader M Kodandaram.