It was 8 a.m. on Tuesday when counting of postal ballot was taken up first followed by EVMs at Indur Engineering College in Dubbak.
After a little while, sources revealed that TRS candidate S. Sujatha polled more votes than her nearest BJP rival M. Raghunandan Rao.
Many present at the counting centre felt that the TRS would lead followed by BJP. But dashing their hopes, Mr. Raghunandan Rao, a former journalist turned lawyer, established his early leads that continued till the fifth round.
In the sixth and seventh rounds, TRS got a majority though it was slender by both the parties from the beginning. The ruling party again got a majority in the 10th round.
In the 12th round, Congress got 83 votes’ majority. From the 13th to 19th round, TRS continued to establish its lead, creating a feeling among observers that the situation was turning for the better for TRS.
At this point, it was expected that TRS will win the election with votes ranging between 1,000 and 2,000, more from postal ballot votes. But the last three rounds pertaining to Chegunta and Narsingi mandals were in favour of the BJP.
Finally, the Returning Officer announced that Mr. Raghunandan Rao has won the election with 1,079 votes.
“BJP won the Dubbak by-election with the support of all and I request those who oppose Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his policies to join hands with the party to fight against the government,” said Mr. Raghunandan Rao while speaking to reporters after coming out of the counting station on Tuesday.
Finance Minister T. Harish Rao welcomed the verdict. “We thank those who voted for the TRS,” he said.