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Overwhelming support for Congress in reserved seats

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, MAY 19. The Congress, which returned to power this year after losing it in 1994, seems to have got overwhelming backing of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes going by its performance in the 39 seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and 15 for Scheduled Tribes in the State Assembly and six SC and two ST seats in the Lok Sabha.

An analysis of the 2004 results shows that the Congress snatched 16 seats reserved for SCs mostly from Telugu Desam Party, while its alliance partner, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) got the better of the TDP in five constituencies in Ranga Reddy, Karimnagar and Warangal districts.

The TDP managed to retain six seats in Visakhapatnam, West Godavari, Krishna, Anantapur and Hyderabad districts.

The Speaker in the dissolved Assembly, K. Pratibha Bharathi, the Labour Minister, P. Babumohan and the Major Irrigation Minister, K. Srihari, were among the losers. The Women and Child Welfare Minister, S. Saraswati, a lecturer, who represented the Koduru seat in Cuddapah district, was denied the TDP ticket this time.

In the case of ST constituencies, while the Congress defeated the TDP in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and West Godavari districts, the TRS won two seats both in Adilabad district.

The Bahujan Samaj Party made its debut in the State winning the Paderu (ST) seat (Minister for Tribal Welfare M. Manikumari) the Left parties -- the CPI(M) and the CPI did well in Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Khammam and Nalgonda districts at the cost of the Congress and the TDP.

The Lok Sabha results too show the Congress gaining mostly at the cost of the TDP in Amalapuram (SC), which was represented in 1999 by the then Speaker, G.M.C. Balayogi, Nellore, Siddipet and Peddapalli, all reserved for SCs. The BJP lost the Tirupati (SC) seat to the Congress. In the two ST seats of Parvathipuram and Bhadrachalam, which were held by the TDP in 1999, the Congress and the CPI(M) respectively won.

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