Following the debacle in Dubbaka bypoll and Hyderabad civic elections, Telangana chief minister and TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao finally ended his long hiatus and kicked off his party’s campaign for the upcoming Nagarjunasagar bypoll with a public rally and pledged almost Rs 186 crore for the development of the Nalgonda district.

During the pandemic Rao was mostly confined indoors and did not campaign much giving the task of managing the campaign to nephew T Harish Rao for Dubbaka and to his son KT Rama Rao for Hyderabad.

The party narrowly lost Dubbaka bypoll to BJP while it lost more than half of the seats in civic elections.

Coupled with the steady rise of BJP in the state the defeats seem to have forced Rao to step out and woo the voters of Nagarjunasagar which was once the bastion of Congress senior leader K Jana Reddy but he lost to TRS in the last election.

However, the death of Communist turned TRS leader N Narsimhaiah who was the sitting MLA had led to the bypoll and TRS wants to retain the seat after a series of defeats.

Rao who kicked off the campaign for the bypoll by laying the foundation stone for a total of 13 lift irrigation projects at the cost of Rs 2500 crore and also announced financial largesse amounting to Rs 186 crore to the gram panchayats, municipal bodies as well as Nalgonda Municipality.

Addressing a public meeting at Palem village in Haliya mandal he promised to complete all the irrigation projects in the next one and half years otherwise he will not seek their votes in the next Assembly elections.

Rao also urged the people not to listen to the false propaganda by the Opposition and instead support the ruling party in the upcoming bypoll. Predictably, he appealed to the regional sentiment and thundered why the Opposition leaders had remained silent when the Nagarjunasagar project was shifted 19 kms downstream by the erstwhile Andhra rulers during the days of unified state and Nalgonda reeled under fluoride problem.

“If you think I am not telling you the truth then defeat TRS otherwise ensure the Opposition candidates lose their deposits,” said Rao taking on the Opposition head on.

He lost his cool when some members of the public tried to draw his attention by waving some papers.

The Opposition leaders had been taking digs at the chief minister for confining himself to office-cum residence or his farmhouse during the pandemic.