Hyderabad, May 19 (IANS) Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana wrested Palair assembly seat from main opposition Congress party with its candidate and state minister T. Nageswara Rao emerging victorious with a huge margin.
Nageswara Rao, who is minister for roads and buildings, defeated Sucharitha Reddy of the Congress by over 45,676 votes.
In the by-election held in this constituency in Khammam district on Monday, 89.73 percent of over 1.90 lakh voters cast their votes.
Of the 1,71,061 votes cast, Nageswara Rao polled 94,978 while Sucharitha Reddy got 49,302 votes. P. Sudershan Rao of the Communist Party of India-Marxist finished third with 15,544 votes.
The by-election was necessitated by the death of sitting legislator Ramreddy Venkat Reddy of the Congress party, which fielded his widow Sucharitha Reddy to cash in on the sympathy factor.
Though a total of 13 candidates were in the fray, it was mainly a three-cornered contest.
In 2014 elections, Venkat Reddy won the seat by a majority of more than 21,000 votes over his nearest rival M. Swarna Kumari of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Venkat Reddy had polled 69,707 votes while his nearest rival secured 47,844 votes. P. Sudershan Rao of CPI-M finished third with 44,245 votes.
The TRS had finished a poor fourth with just 4,041 votes. The party which performed poorly in the district significantly improved its position since then with almost all legislators of the TDP and Congress crossing over.
All three state legislators and the lone Lok Sabha member of the YSR Congress Party, who were all elected from Khammam district in 2014 polls, switched loyalties to the TRS.
This time, both the TDP and YSR Congress stayed away from the contest and supported the Congress candidate.
Nageswara Rao, a senior leader of the TDP and former minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh, quit the party to join the TRS in September 2014. Two months later, he was inducted into the state cabinet.
In June last year, Rao was elected to the state legislative council.