No, this is not predicting a TRS defeat like the way Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter Kavitha lost to D Aravind of the BJP in Nizamabad. Common to Huzurnagar (which goes to polls in a byelection in October) and Nizamabad is that mass nominations will be filed by independents. In Nizamabad, 177 turmeric farmers had contested the elections which kept the focus on Kavitha’s inability to secure a Turmeric board for her constituency.
In Huzurnagar, where the election has been necessitated by Uttam Kumar Reddy’s resignation as MLA after he was elected as Nalgonda MP, 252 sarpanches will file their nominations. This is because sarpanches are unhappy that upa sarpanches too have been given power to sign cheques and want that power to be vested only in the sarpanches.
A large number of lawyers and unemployed youth too are planning to file nominations. The youth are unhappy because they were promised a monthly dole of Rs 3016 but those in Huzurnagar say there is no sign of the money yet.
In Nizamabad, the large number of candidates hurt Kavitha’s chances (in pic above). They together polled 90000 votes while her margin of defeat was 70875 votes. It is to be seen who gains by the mass nominations in Huzurnagar which will see a triangular contest with Uttam Reddy’s wife Padmavathi announced as the Congress candidate.
Incidentally Huzurnagar, that is part of the erstwhile combined Nalgonda district has seen the phenomenon of mass nominations before. In 1996 Lok Sabha elections, 480 independents contested to focus attention on the fluorosis issue in the district and the lack of safe drinking water. That forced the Election Commission to print ballot paper that were bigger than the size of a newspaper.
What is certain is that the Election Commission will have to go in for multiple number of EVMs in every polling booth in order to accommodate the independent candidates. Having the experience of successfully conducting an election in Nizamabad, the EC should sail smoothly this time on technical grounds.