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Telangana elections: 5-time MLA Harish Rao remains a favourite

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Hyderabad, Nov 19: Telangana caretaker chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's nephew T Harish Rao is all set to score a double hat-trick in the upcoming Assembly election in Telangana on December 7. If elected, he will be the youngest MLA to have been elected six times at 46 years, beating a long-standing record of KM Mani, the former Kerala MLA who was elected a record sixth time in 1982 at an age of 49.

Telangana

In the previous elections, Rao was elected to the Assembly for a record fifth time in a span of just 14 years. The first Irrigation Minister of Telangana, Harish Rao had resigned twice to his membership during Telangana agitation following the call by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, who spearheaded the statehood movement, to protest delay in formation of the State.

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Harish Rao was first elected to state assembly in 2004 at the age of 32, when the seat was vacated by KCR on his election to Lok Sabha from Karimnagar, Harish had never looked back.Within 10 years, he had become a five-time MLA by winning from the same constituency and from the same political party.

Harish Rao won 2004 by-election, 2008 by-election, 2009 general election, 2010 by-election and 2014 general election.

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The 2014 general elections to the Lok Sabha elections, Congress candidate Taduri Srinivas Goud stood distant second to Harish Rao (73%) with a vote share of just 10%. BJP's Soppadandi Vidyasagar stood third with a 9% voting in favour of his election.

Such is the popularity of Harish that opposition parties are facing trouble in finding a candidate to face him.

With Harish's victory being a foregone conclusion, he is set to overtake three seven-time MLAs from Telangana - M Baga Reddy (Congress) from Zaheerabad, K Jana Reddy (Congress) from Nagarjunasagar and K Chandrashekhar Rao (TRS) from Siddipet and Gajwel had won the sixth time when they were aged 53, 63 and 50 years respectively.

Reportedly, Harish Rao was arguably the most influential TRS leader next to party Chief KCR.

Harish Rao has close association with party cadre, who often refer him as party trouble shooter. He played key in role during 2014 elections in United Medak district and other district in Northern Telangana. He also took the complete responsibility of By Election, 2014: Medak and Narayankhed By Elections, TRS party won with huge majority on both the occasions.

The 119-member Telangana Assembly was dissolved on September 6 on the recommendation of the Chandrasekhar Rao-led government, more than eight months ahead of the expiry of its term, paving way for early elections.

Polls will be held on December 7 and the counting will take place on December 11.

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