Hyderabad: The large number of farmers who jumped into the poll fray,demanding constitution of a turmeric board and remunerative price for their produce seem to have played a key role in the defeat of TRS leader K Kavitha in the Nizamabad Lok Sabha election.
This Telangana constituency hit the national headlines after 177 farmers filed nomination papers as independents, taking the total number of candidates in the segment to 185.
The farmers said they want trigger a debate on their demands.
The farmers together obtained about 90,000 votes and TRS leaders argued that Kavitha would have won, had all those votes gone to her.
BJP nominee D Aravind pulled off a surprise win, defeating Kavitha, daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, by 70,875 votes.
Some of the farmers, who contested as Independents, said the voters preferred Aravind as he promised to constitute the turmeric board.
Kavitha did not get them the turmeric board as promised, they alleged.
"Aravind said he will get turmeric board...farmers voted for BJP as an alternative as Congress got weakened," G Ramesh, one of the farmers who contested as an Independent, told PTI.
Aravind was chosen "not out of any love for him" but only because the farmers wanted to elect someone who would work for their welfare, he said.
The farmers would wait for two-three months from now, and take up an action plan after reviewing the progress on their demands, he said.
Though the farmers lack a proper structure to carry forward their campaign, they wanted a debate at the national level on their cause, Ramesh said.
Their main demands include constitution of a turmeric board and remunerative price for their crops -- turmeric and red jowar.
K Diwakar, another turmeric farmer who contested as an Independent, also said the farmers voted for Aravind as he promised the turmeric board.
He said the farmers would resume their fight if Aravind failed to honour his promises.
TRS Palla Rajeshwara Reddy alleged that the Congress and BJP had reached an understanding to defeat TRS.
"For example, in Nizamabad constituency, you take Jagtial (assembly seat).
He (Congress candidate) got only 1,000 votes there. (Congress leader) Jeevan Reddy represented (Jagtial) for so many years. It was a complete shift of Congress voting to BJP," he told PTI.
"Congress lost deposit in Nizamabad constituency and wherein they got only 1,000 votes in Jagtial assembly constituency, which shows it is a clear understanding between
the Congress and BJP.
BJP purchased these people. Secondly, it is some confusion created both by Congress and BJP in the name of farmers which has gone almost to more than 90,000 votes.
These two resulted in defeat in this constituency," Reddy said.
TRS would have "definitely" won in Nizamabad had the around 90,000 votes obtained by farmers gone to the party, he said.
The party would go into the results in detail, he added.