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Hyderabad: Independents campaign for second choice gives jitters to ruling party, Opposition

Hyderabad: Independents campaign for second choice gives jitters to ruling party, Opposition
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The biennial elections to the two MLC seats from Nalgonda– Khammam- Warangal, and Hyderabad– Rangareddy- Mahbubnagar graduates' constituencies is turning more and more curiouser.

Hyderabad: The biennial elections to the two MLC seats from Nalgonda– Khammam- Warangal, and Hyderabad– Rangareddy- Mahbubnagar graduates' constituencies is turning more and more curiouser. Normally, the ruling party comes with strategies which the independent candidates find it impossible to overcome. But this time the independent candidates seem to be giving jitters to the major parties the TRS, BJP and the Congress.

In a bid to scale down the winning prospects of the main party candidates and brighten their chances, the non-party candidates have taken up a new method of campaign. It is: "I campaign for you and you campaign for me." The person who goes to seek votes is telling the voters to cast their first preference vote to him and second preference to another independent whom he or she is supporting.

Nearly 90 independent candidates are contesting from Hyderabad graduates' constituency and 60 plus contestants were testing the waters as independents from Nalgonda– Warangal segment. As the ruling TRS and opposition BJP and Congress intensified poll campaign and vying with each other to woo the graduate voters, the non-party contestants devised this new strategy.

"Majority of the contesting independent candidates from the Nalgonda graduates' constituency, including Rani Rudrama Reddy, Ch Sudhakar and others who are from the Reddy community, are seeking first preference votes for them and are requesting the voters to cast their second preference to their friendly counterparts," a senior leader from Nalgonda said that the biennial elections are different from other. "It requires half of the total valid votes plus one extra vote to get elected in the elections. If no one gets the required votes, second preference vote is taken into consideration to declare the candidate elected," according to a analyst.

"The second preference votes would play a key role in the victory of the candidate as many contestants were in the fray. In the last elections, TRS candidate Palla Rajeshwar Reddy won the MLC seat with second preference votes. This time also, second preference votes would decide the fate of many candidates mainly of the major political parties," said a leader. The total number of votes in the Nalgonda segment were 5 lakhs. The contestant requires 2.5 lakh votes to win the seat. The political trends said that no main party candidate gets more than half of the total polled votes and they have to depend on second preference votes.

In Hyderabad graduates' constituency also, the situation is no different. The main party leaders are struggling hard to convince the independent candidates and are requesting them to help get the second preference votes from their supporters. As many as 20 candidates from Mahbubnagar and Rangareddy districts have formed into a group and seeking first and second preference votes. Whether they win or not, this strategy, the main parties feel could lead to some erosion of votes which they might have otherwise got.

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