K M Dayashankar
KARIMNAGAR: Etala Rajender, the former Minister who was sacked by the TRS government a few months ago on the charges of encroachment of assigned and endowment lands, has emerged as an undisputed leader in his Huzurabad assembly by winning with a thumping majority of 23,865 votes in an intense battle with the ruling TRS candidate Gellu Srinivas.
The Congress, which was a force to reckon with in the district, its candidate and NSUI state president Balmoori Venkat Narasimha Rao did not even secure the deposit in the segment in spite of several TPCC leaders including its president A Revanth Reddy, AICC leaders campaigning in the segment.
Whether Mr Rajender was associated with the TRS or freshly with the BJP, he has proved that individual performance and mettle was more important to win the elections than the party affiliations. He had defeated several stalwart politicians from the segment because of his association with the people of the constituency since he entered politics.
This is his seventh victory from the constituency. When Rajender joined the TRS, he was first fielded from the Kamalapar assembly segment now Huzurabad segment in the year 2004 against TDP candidate and former Minister Muddasani Damodar Reddy. Mr Rajender defeated the TDP candidate by securing a lead of 19,619 votes. In the 2004 elections, the TRS forged an alliance with the Congress party.
Following the forced by-elections by the TRS during the statehood movement, Mr Rajender again defeated TDP candidate Damodar Reddy by securing a lead of 22,284 votes in 2008 by-elections. In the 2009 general elections the constituency was converted into Huzurabad segment, he defeated Congress candidate Krishnamohan Vakulabharanam by securing a lead of 15,035 votes. In the 2009 elections, the TRS had forged an alliance with TDP.
Again during the second phase of the statehood movement in 2010 by-elections, Mr Rajender defeated TDP candidate Damodar Reddy by securing a record lead of 79,227 votes. In the 2014 general elections after the formation of Telangana state, Mr Rajender defeated Congress candidate Kethari Sai Reddy by securing a lead of 57,037 votes.
In the 2018 assembly elections, he defeated Congress candidate P Kaushik Reddy by securing a lead of 43,719 votes. The fresh victory after his resignation to TRS and joining BJP was the seventh one consecutively from the consecutively and set a record in the integrated Karimnagar district by emerging as the undisputed leader of the masses.
Even as the TRS and the Congress parties have made wild allegations against Etala Rajender and the BJP government for the steep increase of petroleum products and the LPG cylinders prices, the people of the constituency supported Mr Rajender because of its availability to redress the grievances of the people.