Threats, abuses and muck become norm in TS poll campaign

Hyderabad: Telangana assembly election is all set to end in nail biting finish.

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This election is unique in many ways. Compared to last two elections of 2014 and 2018 after formation of the new State, people have seen some unforgettable unique scenes.

From a candidate threatening to commit suicide with family if not voted to victory, publicly weeping MLAs and such other leaders  who failed to get tickets, abusive leaders to shifting of loyalties from one party to another at a drop of hat.

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While promises galore from all political parties, descending of big wigs—right from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to top leaders of parties including from various states to woo the voters raised the status of Telangana people.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is trying for a hattrick win on development plank, Congress wants people to give them a chance since it gave Telangana State while BJP wants to end family rule and promises a clean and development-oriented administration.

Poll surveys leave voters confused

Surveys were doled out by various agencies in a jiffy, some predicting return of BRS, some Congress win and some others see BJP win.

But dumping of ex BJP president Bandi Sanjay dampened the spirits of BJP.

From nowhere, Congress hawa is sweeping the State. “Congress hawa” talk has left ruling BRS leaders bewildered and numbed. Even some predicted dent in AIMIM fiefdom.

Rumours of distribution of money—Rs 2000 per household in some parts of Secunderabad to Rs 15,000 per vote in Kamareddy, where Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is contesting, has raised eyebrows notwithstanding strict surveillance by Election Commission and police has raised eyebrows.

Candidate suicide threat

Never in the past voters publicly saw a candidate threatening to commit suicide if not elected.
Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC Kaushik Reddy, who is contesting from Huzurabad Assembly constituency, during election campaign threatened to commit suicide along with two of his family members if not voted to victory.

“If I win, there will be victory procession. But if I lose, there will be funeral procession on December 4. The choice yours. If you elect me, I will sacrifice my life for your welfare. If not, you have to see my dead body. I beg you to give me a chance to serve you. I hope you will come to my rescue,” he said atop a van flanked by wife and daughter.

The Election Commission took suo moto cognizance of the candidate’s threat and sought a detailed report.

Kaushik Reddy is facing BJP MLA and former Minister Etala Rajender and Congress nominee Vodithala Pranav. Kaushik lost the 2018 Assembly elections from the same constituency to Etala Rajender. While Etala Rajender quit BRS and joined BJP, Kaushik Reddy quit Congress to join BRS.

In fact, an independent candidate Kannaiah Goud, who was contesting from Nizamabad Urban, committed suicide by hanging himself following threats of extortion.

Barrelakka, sister with buffaloes

Then there was a comet from the horizon that hit Kollapur assembly constituency in Ms Karne Sirisha alias Barrelakka (sister with buffaloes), a young girl hailing from Marrikal village in Peddakothapally mandal of Nagarkurnool who is contesting as an independent.

She became overnight sensation with a catchy video showing her rearing buffaloes in the field saying that she could not get a government job after due preparations for Group 1, Group II etc. exams were cancelled in the last minute and has no choice to raise buffaloes.

Sirisha, who got whistle symbol and braving threats to her and family, is taking on Congress candidate Jupally Krishna Rao and BJP’s Sudhakar Rao. She became darling of the masses, print and electronic media overnight.

In fact, cops booked a case against her for belittling the government. “I will fight for the welfare and rights of people. I will not join any political party,” she asserts.

Popular Nampally Congress candidate Feroz Khan, whose Urdu, Telugu and English speeches and statements earn the wrath of AIMIM leaders, was booked for allegedly offering Rs 1 lakh to a voter. Khan stoutly denies it.

Secunderabad MLA T Padma Rao and his followers were booked for creating nuisance violating Model Code of Conduct by Market Police in Secunderabad.

It is not an isolated case. IT raids against Congress and BRS leaders and their affiliates were on rise during this poll campaign and there was huge recovering of cash from people, mostly businessmen.

Aspirants sob over denial of tickets

But never in the past people and voters saw tickets aspirants sobbing in public and hitting out at party bigwigs for denying tickets in all the political parties—BRS, Congress and BJP.

Congress ticket aspirant Patel Ramesh Reddy from Suryapet broke down along with family members over denial of ticket to him.

Similarly, Station Ghanpur BRS MLA and ex-Minister Thatikonda Rajaiah cried bitterly in public following denial of ticket to him. Rajaiah fell at the feet of Dr B R Ambedkar statue and cried bitterly. He lost the ticket to Kadiam Srihari.

Similarly, Khanapur BRS MLA Rekha Naik publicly wept after she was denied ticket. She crossed over to Congress. “Can’t stay where women aren’t respected,” she alleged.

Abusive language

Some leaders of major parties stooped to all time low in hitting out at rivals during the campaign.
From BJP MP Bandi Sanjay, TPCC president A Revanth Reddy and Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao to others indulged in unparliamentary language during the campaign leaving voters perplexed and electioneering in a bad taste.

BRS MLA turned Congress Malkajgiri nominee Mynampally Hanumantha Rao went hammer and tong against Finance Minister T Harish Rao and Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao.

Rao quit BRS after denial of ticket to his son Rohit from Medak Assembly constituency. His abusive language has created a stir in political circles.

This election will certainly be remembered for a long time since it has become a do or die battle for three major parties—BRS, Congress and BJP.

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