High-decibel campaign ends in Telangana

Hyderabad: Microphones fell silent as the high-decibel campaign for Telangana Assembly elections came to an end on Tuesday evening.

Top leaders of the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), Congress, and the BJP addressed election rallies and participated in road shows across the state on the last day.

Motorcycle rallies, padyatras, street corner meetings, public meetings and door-to-door canvassing continued till the evening as candidates and their parties made last bid effort to woo the voters.

The BRS, which had bagged 88 seats in 119-member Assembly in 2018 elections, is seeking a third consecutive term in power in India’s youngest state while both the Congress and the BJP are confident of wresting power.

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, and state Congress chief Revanth Reddy concluded their campaign with a road show in Malkajgiri constituency in Hyderabad in support of party candidate Mynampalli Hanumantha Rao.

BRS President and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao addressed the last election rally in Gajwel constituency, from where he is seeking re-election.

In Kamareddy, the other constituency where KCR is contesting, his son and BRS Working President K. T. Rama Rao addressed an election rally.

A little over 3.26 crore voters are eligible to cast their votes in the polling to be held on Thursday.

A total of 2,290 candidates are in fray for 119 seats.

Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj told reporters in Hyderabad that at the stroke of 5 p.m. the silent period started.

He said various restrictions have come into force for the silent period, which is the period for the voters to mull over things and come to a conclusion.

The acrimonious campaign saw no-holds-barred exchange among leaders of the three major political players and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), a key player in Hyderabad.

While the BRS sought a fresh mandate on the basis of its performance during the last two terms, Congress sought to lured the voters with six guarantees, hoping to replicate its recent success in neighbouring Karnataka.

The BJP sought one chance for a double-engine government to fast-track the pace of development and it promised to make someone from backward classes as the Chief Minister.

Both the Congress and the BJP attacked KCR over family rule and corruption during the last 10 years. The BRS cautioned people that a Congress government would undo all the progress achieved by the state during the last one decade. Congress leaders accused BRS, BJP and AIMIM of being hand in glove while BJP claimed that Congress, BRS and AIMIM are together.

Rahul Gandhi led the campaign for the Congress, addressing 23 public meetings. His sister Priyanka Gandhi addressed 26 rallies. Revanth Reddy, seen as the Chief Minister face by his supporters, addressed 55 public meetings in several parts of the state. Congress P:resident Mallikarjun Kharge, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister D. K. Shivakumar, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, actor-politician Vijayashanthi, who recently quit the BJP to join the Congress, also campaigned for the party.

The BRS is contesting all 119 seats on its own. Congress has left one seat for the Communist Party of India (CPI). The BJP has fielded candidates in 111 constituencies and left the remaining eight for its ally Jana Sena Party (JSP) led by actor-politician Pawan Kalyan. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is contesting all the seats on its own.

AIMIM, a friendly party of the BRS, has fielded candidates in nine constituencies, all in Hyderabad. In the rest of the state, it has declared support to the BRS.

For BRS, KCR led the campaign addressing 96 election rallies across the state. His son K.T. Rama Rao and nephew T. Harish Rao too addressed public meetings and held roadshows in different parts of the state.

For BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP President J. P. Nadda addressed election rallies across the state. Modi, who concluded a three-day campaign in the state on Monday, addressed eight public meetings and held a roadshow. Amit Shah, who campaigned for eight days, addressed 17 public meetings and held seven roadshows. Nadda addressed eight public meetings and participated in three roadshows. Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitish Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Anurag Singh Thakur, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyothi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Assam Chief Minister Hemant Biswa Sarma, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other leaders campaigned for the party.

AIMIM P:resident Asaduddin Owaisi and his brother Akbaruddin Owaisi led their party’s campaign. BSP leader Mayawati addressed a couple public meetings in support of her party candidates.

Chief Minister KCR, Revanth Reddy, Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, BJP leaders Eatala Rajender and Bandi Sanjay, Congress leader and former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin, ministers KTR and Harish Rao are among the prominent candidates in the fray.

Counting of votes will be taken up on December 3.

IANS

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