For TRS, its defeat in Dubbak was only the second in a by-election since the party’s ascendance to popularity in the political spectrum in 2010.
The TRS had suffered a big jolt in by-elections two years earlier in 2008 losing nine out of sixteen Assembly constituencies that it contested after making its sitting MLAs resign en masse demanding separate Telangana.
The TRS also lost two Lok Sabha seats in by-polls at the same time. Party chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who had won from Karimnagar with a majority of over two lakh votes in that term of Lok Sabha, scraped through with just 15,000 votes. Hanamkonda was the other Lok Sabha seat which the party retained while losing Adilabad and Warangal.
The year 2010 saw all ten MLAs of TRS again resign en masse in support of the party’s demand for a separate State. Then, the 10 Assembly segments and Vemulawada, which had TDP MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh, and Nizamabad, which was vacated by BJP MLA Y. Laxminarayana, went to polls. With the TRS admitting Mr. Ramesh and giving him ticket and not fielding a candidate against Mr. Laxminarayana because he had made a common cause with it, the party inflicted humiliating defeat on the Congress and TDP in the by-elections that followed. The TDP lost deposit in all 12 constituencies and Congress four.
It was no going back for the TRS after that as it won election after election with ease. The defeat of the party at Mahabubnagar in 2012 and now at Dubbak were the only ones that it lost in by-elections.
The BJP halted a clean sweep of TRS in the 2012 by-elections by wresting Mahabubnagar but the latter won the remaining four seats — Station Ghanpur, Kolhapur, Adilabad and Kamareddy — that it contested. Another seat, Nagarkurnool, was left to an Independent, Nagam Janardhan Reddy. Like in Dubbak on Tuesday, the loss of TRS at Mahabubnagar was by a margin of only 1,897 votes.