For BRS, Much hinges on Mahbubnagar MLC poll

HYDERABAD: The byelection to the Mahbubnagar Local Authorities MLC witnessed 99.86 per cent voting with 1,437 out of 1,439 voters exercising their franchise on Thursday.

While the ruling Congress is keen on winning the bypoll as it comes ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the BRS is determined to retain the seat. The fourth phase of the LS polls will be held in Telangana on May 13.

Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy also exercised his voting right in Kodangal. He cast his vote in his home constituency as an ex-officio member in his capacity as the Kodangal MLA, while State Tourism and Culture Minister Jupally Krishna Rao voted in Kolhapur.

The main contest in the bypoll is between Manne Jeevan Reddy of the Congress and BRS candidate Naveen Reddy. An independent candidate, Sudarshan Goud, is also in the fray.

Representatives from local bodies participated in the voting process across 10 polling stations in the erstwhile Mahbubnagar district. Polling commenced at 8 am and concluded at 4 pm. Of the 1,439 people who exercised their franchise were 14 MLAs, three MLCs, 888 MPTCs, 83 ZPTCs and 449 councillors. Counting of votes will take place on April 2.

The BRS holds a majority in the local bodies, with 71 per cent of the electorate, due to its good performance in the 2019 elections, followed by the Congress with 16.67 per cent, BJP with 8.23 per cent and others with 3.18 per cent.

In anticipation of potential cross-voting, both the Congress and BRS took their elected representatives to camps in Karnataka, Kerala and Goa. All of them returned on Wednesday evening to cast their votes on Thursday.

The byelection was necessitated by the resignation of the incumbent BRS MLC Kasireddy Narayana Reddy. He shifted his loyalties to the Congress and won the Kalwakurthy seat in the 2023 Assembly elections.

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