After electrifying campaign, stage set for Lok Sabha polls in Telugu states, Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh

Campaigns in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh witnessed the likes of Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, YS Jagan, Chandrababu Naidu, and KCR. 

BySouth First Desk

Published May 12, 2024 | 1:37 PMUpdatedMay 12, 2024 | 1:37 PM

Lok Sabha polls

After a high-decibel campaign, including by the top leaders of the BJP, Congress, BRS, YSRCP and the TDP, the stage is now set for polling on Monday, 13 May, for the Lok Sabha polls in the two Telugu states and the Assembly election in Andhra Pradesh.

The Election Commission has also made arrangements to conduct a by-poll for the Secunderabad (Cantonment) Assembly seat in Telangana.

Campaigns in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh witnessed the likes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and YSRCP president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, and BRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao, among others.

Also Read: Campaigning ends for 96 Lok Sabha seats, Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections

The election in Telangana

As many as 625 candidates, including Union Minister and Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy, the party’s national general secretary Bandi Sanjay Kumar and senior leader Etala Rajender are among the saffron party candidates while the Congress fielded among others, BRS turncoats Danam Nagender and K Kavya.

AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi is seeking re-election from the party’s bastion of the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency and the BJP has fielded a political novice but enthusiastic K Madhavi Latha who has begun a spirited campaign.

The former IPS officer RS Praveen Kumar and sitting MP Nama Nageswar Rao, among others, are in the poll fray from former Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao-led BRS.

Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several Union ministers including Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, and Congress leaders Mallikrajun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy canvassed for their respective party candidates.

The campaigns

The Congress campaign centred around reservations for SC, ST and OBC alleging that BJP, if voted to power at the Centre again, will try to abolish quota for the above sections. It also highlighted the implementation of five out of the six Assembly poll guarantees in Telangana by the party-led government.

The BJP focussed mainly on how the grand old party would allegedly try to snatch away reservations and allot them to “Muslims” and controversial comments by Congress leader Sam Pitroda on “race and skin colours of Indians”.

The BRS campaign, led by former chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, highlighted the failures of the incumbent Congress government, besides attacking the BJP on various issues.

According to State Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj, about ₹320 crore worth of cash, freebies and other articles have been seized during the period of poll code.

Over 3.31 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise in 35,356 polling stations across the state.

A press release from Telangana DGP’s office said over 73,000 civil police, 500 sections of the state special police, 164 companies of central armed police forces, three companies of Tamil Nadu police, 2,088 officials from other departments and 7,000 home guards are deployed as part of security measures.

All vehicles carrying EVMs and VVPATs are fitted with GPS systems and provided invariably with armed security by Central forces. Telangana recorded a 62 percent voter turnout in the 2019 Parliamentary elections.

The BRS (then TRS) won nine seats, BJP won four, Congress won three and AIMIM won one seat in the 2019 general elections.

Also Read: As Jagan Reddy seeks to move out of YSR’s shadow, Sharmila relies on father’s voice

Simultaneous elections in Andhra

After an intense campaign, the stage is set for polling in Andhra Pradesh on Monday to elect the 175- member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats from the state.

YSRCP president Jagan (Pulivendula), TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu (Kuppam) and Jana Sena chief and actor Pawan Kalyan (Pithapuram), among others, are in the Assembly poll race.

AP Congress president and Jagan’s sister YS Sharmila (Kadapa) and BJP state chief Purandeswari (Rajamahendravaram), among others, are in the Lok Sabha poll fray.

The YSRCP is contesting in all 175 Assembly seats and 25 Lok Sabha segments in the state.

As part of a seat-sharing deal among NDA partners, the TDP was allocated 144 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha constituencies while the BJP will contest from six Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats.

The Jana Sena will contest two Lok Sabha and 21 Assembly seats.

Welfare schemes took centre stage

The YSRCP campaign centred around the welfare measurest it implemented during the past five years while the NDA highlighted the “failures” of the state government and the doles it would provide if voted to power in the state and the job creation it would do.

Besides Modi, several Union ministers including Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge undertook poll campaigns for their respective party candidates.

For the smooth conduct of the polls, the Election Commission has deployed 1.06 lakh security personnel, which included 3,500 Karnataka police, 4,500 Tamil Nadu police, 1,614 ex-servicemen and 246 retired police personnel, among others.

The polling will start at 7 am and end at 6 pm in the state, barring a few places where it will conclude one or two hours before.

The total number of voters in the southern state is 4.14 crore, which includes 2.02 crore male, 2.1 crore female, 3,421 third-gender voters and 68,185 service electors.

Also Read: Amit Shah raises Pakistan, terror issues to fire at Congress ahead of polling in Telangana

454 candidates in the fray

As many as 454 candidates are in the fray for Lok Sabha and 2,387 for Assembly polls, according to Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer MK Meena.

Exuding confidence about winning the polls, the YSRCP chief asserted that he is no ‘Abhimanyu’ to succumb to the alleged political conspiracies plotted by the opposition parties.

In a post on Saturday on ‘X’, Reddy called himself ‘Arjun’, who is accompanied by Lord Krishna-like people to emerge triumphant.

Opposition leader Naidu in a post on ‘X’ had appealed to the people of the state to exercise their franchise on May 13 as it is crucial for the future direction of Andhra Pradesh.

The YSRCP won 151 seats, TDP won 23 and Jana Sena won in the last Assembly polls while the ruling party emerged victorious in 22 and Chandrababu Naidu-led party in three Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 elections.

(With PTI inputs)