From TRS Politburo Member To Dubbak's BJP MLA: Madhavaneni Raghunandan Rao's Meteoric Rise

M Ragunandan Rao BJP MLA Dubbaka Profile - Sakshi Post

HYDERABAD: On Tuesday, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Madhavaneni Raghunandan Rao (52), dealt a huge blow to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi Party (TRS) in the Dubbak by-election 2020 .Winning against the TRS candidate Solipeta Sujatha with a slender margin of 1,079 votes, Raghunandan finally emerged victorious in his third battle.

Raghunandan who belongs to the same Velama caste as Chief Minister K Chandrasekahara  Rao ( he is also said to be related to the CM) was born at Siddipet in 1968. A lawyer by profession, he had a flourishing practise in the Telangana High Court. In 2001, Raghunandan Rao ventured into politics by joining the TRS  and actively participated in the Telangana statehood movement under the leadership of TRS president K. Chandrashekar Rao and was selected to the TRS politburo.

He was at loggerheads with the Party for handling Hyderabad AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi's bail petition case in the District Principal and Sessions Court in Medak in 2013, when he was the TRS Medak district President. It may be mentioned that the TRS has been strongly opposing the AIMIM for its stand against Telangana statehood at that point of time.

The bail was in a case pending against Asaduddin Owaisi, his brother Asaduddin and 20 others for their alleged involvement in obstructing the collector and other officers who were allegedly demolishing a mosque at Muttangi. Raghunandan Rao succeeded in getting bail for the AIMIM chief and the case later ended in acquittal.

 After from that Raghunandan Rao was suspended from the TRS on allegations of meeting Telugu Desam Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu in May 2013.Alienated from the party fold, he joined the BJP and contested the Assembly elections from Dubbak in 2014 and 2018 as well as the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Medak but was defeated thrice.

Raghunandan had been unsuccessfully challenging the TRS over the years. However, Raghunandan was given another opportunity with the sudden death of the TRS's Dubbak MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy in August, due to cardiac arrest.

 Dubbaka,  which is nestled amidst the three high profile constituencies nestled between Chief Minister KCR's Gajwel, his nephew and Finance Minister T Harish Rao's Siddipet and IT, Industries and Municipal Administration minister and KCR's son KT Rama Rao's Sircilla, was seen a battle of prestige for the TRS and they were quite confident that they would win hands down.

But that was not to be and Raghunandan, with the strong support of BJP leadership turned the tables and won with 63,352   while the TRS  Solipeta Sujatha (TRS) polled  62,273 votes

If one observed the previous assembly elections in Dubbak in 2018, he ended up with just 22,595 votes, whereas the TRS candidate, Solipeta Ramachandra Reddy, registered a huge margin of 62,500 votes.

Political analyst believe that BJP's victory was due to the discontent in the youth as many poll promises made were not kept by the TRS including jobs and economic improvement of the region which is still considered backward.

The 2020 by-polls also witnessed a high voltage campaign and drama where the TRS attacked the BJP of corruption and the BJP accused the TRS of large-scale misuse of government machinery to target Raghunandan, alleging obstruction to his campaigning.

It is alleged that the police at TRS's behest allegedly planted the Rs 18 lakh cash seized from the BJP contestant's relative house. Videos that surfaced online showing the tussle between the BJP and the police only added to the confusion.

 However, in the end it was the BJP, which emerged victorious leaving the TRS to withdraw into quiet introspection. This is needed considering the fact that the elections for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will be conducted in the coming months and the TRS will have to fight the pro-BJP that is slowly gaining ground. Presently 99 out of 150 divisions in the GHMC are under the TRS.

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