Incidents of stone-pelting by activists of political parties were reported from some parts of Rayalaseema on Monday
The high-voltage campaign for the second phase of elections in Seemandhra came to a close on Monday amid apprehensions of violence during polling on May 7 in some areas.
Incidents of stone-pelting by activists of political parties were reported from some parts of Rayalaseema on Monday and there are fears that these could escalate on polling day.
The contest, by and large, is expected to be between the YSR Congress Party and the Telugu Desam–Bharatiya Janata Party combine and the two sides have engaged in trading charges during the campaign period.
Polling for 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly constituencies on May 7, being held after the bifurcation Bill was passed by Parliament, will challenge all major contenders, including TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu, YSRC chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and former Union Ministers.
Apart from charges, the parties also focussed energies on their development agendas and plans to usher in accelerated development in the residuary State.
While Mr. Reddy, party’s honorary president Y.S. Vijayalakshmi and his sister Y.S. Sharmila toured 13 districts addressing the electorate, the TDP-BJP campaign witnessed participation of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan.
Actor Nandamuri Balakrishna, contesting from Hindupur Assembly segment, and Mr. Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh campaigned extensively for the TDP-BJP alliance. The focus of the TDP-BJP campaign was on providing a road map to ensure all-round development of the new State, set to come into existence on June 2 with a deficit budget of Rs. 12,000 crore. The YSRC chief concentrated more on the welfare schemes which his father and former Chief Minister late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy implemented during 2004-09.
Mr. Jagan focussed his efforts on reminding people about the decade-long “misrule” of the TDP that was set right after YSR took over the reins, while the TDP president sought to highlight the reported irregularities for which Mr. Jagan was facing probes by the CBI.
Mr. Jagan assured the people that he would bring back the “welfare State” was seen during his father’s tenure and Mr. Naidu emphasised on the need for bringing him back to power as the Telugu Desam Party alone had the track record of ensuring accelerated development.
Congress campaign was rather subdued with party’s star campaigners — AICC president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi — confining themselves to addressing one public meeting each in Guntur and Hindupur respectively.
With the party contestants remaining confined to their respective constituencies except for former Union Minister K. Chiranjeevi and APCC president N. Raghuveera Reddy who participated in some road shows, party leader Jairam Ramesh toured the Seemandhra region extensively explaining to the people the determination of the Congress to usher in rapid growth in the new State.
Former Chief Minister and Jai Samaikyandhra Party chief N. Kiran Kumar Reddy also conducted road shows explaining voters about the “sacrifice” he made for keeping Telugus united.
Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan campaigned in support of Mr. Modi.