Intense campaign comes to a close in Huzurabad

Minister for Finance T. Harish Rao along with TRS candidate Gellu Srinivas Yadav during electioneering for Huzurabad byelection.  

As loudspeakers fell silent and political parties scurried to woo the voters in the last minute, tension is palpable among the key contestants in the byelection to Huzurabad Assembly constituency which goes to poll on October 30.

In what is billed as a contest of prestige for Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao as well as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate and former minister Eatala Rajender, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the BJP are locked in another tight fight. The two parties waged a do or die battle in Dubbaka bypoll where the BJP had the last laugh.

The bypoll to Huzurabad constituency was the result of the resignation of Mr. Rajender after he fell out with the TRS leadership subsequent to his ouster from the Cabinet. Mr. Rajender’s entry into BJP made the contest more interesting and stakes for both the ruling TRS and the saffron party soared.

While Mr. Rajender, a seasoned politician and a key person in the TRS since its inception in 2000, shifted his political allegiance, the TRS scouted for a suitable candidate and picked up student leader Gellu Srinivas Yadav. Not to be left behind, the Congress shortlisted its NSUI State chief Balmuri Venkat Narsing Rao, a medico, to contest on its behalf.

The TRS had a head start in the run up to the bypoll after it specifically targetted Mr. Rajender’s decision to quit the TRS which gave him political life and how he ditched the party for selfish interests. The party drafted its crisis man T. Harish Rao as the campaign in-charge for Huzurabad constituency.

For the last 45 days, Mr. Harish Rao spearheaded the campaign for the party roping in ministers and senior leaders. While individually hitting out at the opportunistic politics of Mr. Rajender, the TRS focussed its energy to ‘expose’ the BJP by alleging how the Centre had denied Telangana its due right from the State’s formation.

Not to lag behind, BJP pressed into service several senior leaders, including close to a dozen Union ministers, who minced no words in criticising Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his government’s policies. They just stopped short of calling Pragati Bhavan a ‘palace’ from where the CM does not venture out.

Congress too tried to make its presence felt with the visit of its seasoned leaders. The visit of TPCC chief A. Revanth Reddy for a road show was impressive but the delay in the candidate’s announcement for start of electioneering saw to it that the party lagged behind.

Charges and counter charges flew thick and fast as the TRS and the BJP were engaged in a war of words over the abrupt halt to the implementation of the Dalit Bandhu scheme aimed at financially empowering the SC community. The TRS leaders said it was a conspiracy of the BJP to deny the poor dalits their due. The BJP countered saying it was a decision of the Election Commission and the party had no role in stopping it.

For the record, 30 candidates are in fray for the election to be held on October 30. On the last day on Wednesday, Mr. Harish Rao, his cabinet colleagues — V. Srinivas Goud, Koppula Eashwar, Talasani Srinivas Yadav and Gangula Kamalakar — made last ditch effort to woo the voters.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 1:00:18 AM |

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