Telangana and late Congress start give TRS the edge
Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Congress are locked in a close contest in most parts of Telangana region in the last polls in the region before it splits from Andhra Pradesh. Campaigning for the 119 assembly and 17 Lok Sabha seats closed on Monday evening.
All parties claim credit for creating Telangana state but TRS has the edge. TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao went on a high-voltage campaign claiming it was only the TRS that created Telangana. The Congress campaign started late, after Sonia Gandhi addressed a meeting on April 16 at Karimnagar. It was followed by Rahul Gandhi’s rally. But the Congress failed to capitalise on the fact that it was a Congress-led government at the Centre that granted statehood.
BJP’s Narendra Modi addressed four meetings in a day but failed to create much impact. The TDP-BJP have a tie-up in both Telangana and Seemandhra while the Congress has allied with CPI in Telangana and CPM in Seemandhra region, where poling will be held on April 7.
TRS has an edge in north Telangana and has made inroads into Congress and TDP strongholds in south Telangana, especially Medak, Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar.
The 11 sitting Congress MPs may find retaining their seats tough.
TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao is contesting from Medak Lok Sabha seat and Gajwale Assembly constituency in Medak district.
TDP is contesting 72 Assembly and 9 Lok Sabha seats and BJP 47 Assembly and 8 Lok Sabha seats as per their seat-sharing arrangement.
Multi-pronged contests are expected in urban seats in and around Hyderabad where TRS, Congress, TDP-BJP and YSRCP will slug it out. In most other places it is expected to be a Congress-TRS fight. MIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi is comfortably placed in Hyderabad. Some Lok Sabha seats to watch out for are Secunderabad, Malkajgiri, Chevella, Khammam, Nizamabad and Peddapalle. In Peddapalle, Congress MP Dr Gaddam Vivekananda who joined TRS and returned to Congress after Telangana was granted statehood is finding it tough against novice Balka Suman, a TRS youth wing leader who participated in the agitation.
Congress MP from Nizamabad Madhu Yakshi Goud faces challenge from KCR’s daughter K Kavita. In Mahbubnagar, Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy is pitted against BJP’s Nagam Janaradhan Reddy, a former TDP strongman. Former Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya is contesting from Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat against sitting MP Anjan Kumar Yadav and T Bhimsen of TRS. In Malkajgiri, former Andhra DGP V Dinesh Reddy is contesting against former IAS officer Jayaprakash Narayana of Lok Satta Party, sitting MP Sarve Satyanarayana, and Aam Aadmi Party’s Dr Sudhakiran Rao, grandson of former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao.