Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Lagging behind in the required numbers to win the Legislative Council seat from the Ranga Reddy Local Authorities constituency, the Congress is banking on a split in the Opposition vote-bank to swing the verdict in its favour.

Forty hours ahead of the polling, the political scene is shifting back to Hyderabad as the Congress and TDP candidates wound up their camps on Wednesday. The Congress group comprising over 240 voters (ZPTC, MPTC, Councillors and Corporators) returned to the city in chartered buses from Goa.

The TDP team, said to comprise over 300 voters, is desperately trying to keep its flock together amid serious threat of split in its ranks. The TDP voters also started their return journey from Bangalore. The total electorate of the Council seat is 653, a majority of whom are TDP members. The two principal contenders – Kasani Gnaneswar (Congress) and P. Narender Reddy (TDP) – were said to be making last ditch efforts to win the seat. Congress began wooing the ‘vulnerable' voters of the opposition parties, who could switch their loyalties.

Influential Congress leaders began talks with the BJP, Left parties and others.