TRS plans high-profile campaign

HYDERABAD, MARCH 3. The nitty gritty of the election campaign by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has been finalised to the last detail.

A look at the details worked out by the party, which are to be implemented in tandem with its alliance partner, Congress, gives the impression that it will be a no-holds-barred campaign. The campaign style will appear to beat the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo and Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, at his own game.

Leaning heavily on publicity for propagation of the Telangana cause, the TRS chief, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, plans to flood villages with audiocassettes. The TRS is preparing two types of cassettes, one that contains about nine songs hailing the glory of Telangana and a speech by the TRS chief, and the other a satire on Mr. Naidu highlighting the alleged raw deal meted out to the region on developmental aspects. The songs are rendered in folk form and have catchy tunes with lyrics penned in the local lingo.

According to Mr. Rao, the party plans to arrange for the distribution of a few lakh cassettes. Apart from these, audio aids worth Rs. 50,000 to be given to each candidate and material worth Rs. 1 lakh is also to be handed over. Two to three cultural teams will also tour each Assembly constituency to undertake an intense campaign.

The next aspect of focus will be on training the contestants of both the TRS and the Congress to coordinate their efforts during canvassing. No room will be allowed for any dissidence within these parties that could affect the chances of the Opposition in the election. Stringent action is being contemplated against possible rebels.

The most interesting part of the campaign will be the role of the `hundred musketeers' in monitoring the campaign. In 100 out of the 107 Assembly segments in Telangana, both the parties plan to deploy the youth brigade to keep tab on the performance of the candidates during the period and also to seek inputs from the general public. They will be given motorcycles to tour extensively within the constituencies.

These `musketeers' will fax their observations to the control room to be established here and the data will be compiled into a daily bulletin by an exclusive team. Senior leaders of the TRS and the Congress will guide the candidates with their advice over telephone daily in the evenings. The TRS will also utilise the services of Osmania University teaching staff and students supporting the cause of Telangana to help in the campaign with their local contacts and speeches.