The response is overwhelming. While a few shake hands, some try to hug him and many jostle with each other to have a glimpse. Men and youth descend on the streets while women peep through the windows to acknowledge his visit.

The ‘Paidal Daura’ undertaken by Akbaruddin Owaisi in Chandrayangutta constituency is evoking a warm response. The sitting MLA from the constituency will be contesting for the fourth time. He annexed the seat in 1999 and since then has retained it.

A festive atmosphere prevails as his entourage moves into the localities as part of the poll campaign. “I am always reachable and you can contact me anytime. Please pray for me,” the leader reciprocates to his well wishers.

While contestants elsewhere are asking people to vote for them, it is not so here. His presence during the election period sends across the message, party activists point out. “Akbar bhai has a huge following and people will vote only for him. Let whoever be in the fray,” says an excited party worker.

It is the first time that Mr. Akbaruddin is moving across almost every lane of the constituency after the murderous attack on him three years ago and the hate speech controversy. As part of the campaign a couple of ‘paidal dauras’ are planned everyday across the constituency. The campaign winds up in the evening with well attendant meetings where Mr. Akbaruddin, who is also a good orator, takes digs at his rivals.

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