Hyderabad: With just a few hours left for poll campaign to end on Tuesday, political parties stepped up electioneering across the State for the April 11 Lok Sabha elections. Top leaders of TRS have been busy consolidating their support base to ensure maximum polllng, even as candidates of the Opposition parties are crying foul over non-cooperation from their own partymen. Due to its intense campaign, TRS remains far ahead of its rivals and is confident of winning 16 of 17 Lok Sabha seats while its ally AIMIM’s candidate Asaduddin Owaisi is contesting from Hyderabad constituency. In addition to its own strength, TRS has the backing of AIMIM, which is expected to help the party get minority votes.
The TRS conducted its campaign in a strategic manner since the election schedule was announced, with Chief Minister and TRS president K Chandrashekhar Rao leading the campaign along with TRS working president KT Rama Rao, Cabinet Ministers and other senior MLAs across the State. He addressed about 14 public meetings in less than 10 days. Rama Rao took on the onus of campaigning in Secunderabad, Chevella and Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituencies, while the Ministers anchored the campaigning in the rest of the districts.
In a strategic manner, the TRS cadre reached out to their loyal voters first and made efforts that the voter turnout would be large huge numbers helping the party to repeat its feat of the Assembly elections. The MLAs have been entrusted with the job of reaching out to untapped sections who did not vote for TRS and request for their vote in the Lok Sabha elections by explaining the need for TRS candidates winning the seat in the wake of TRS forming the government in the State.
Meanwhile, the Opposition parties including the Congress and BJP could not execute their plans to full scale. Congress fielded some recognisable candidates, but hardly conducted three-four public meetings of which only two were attended by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Though it was rumoured that Sonia Gandhi will address a public meeting, there has been no sign of it.
Making things more complicated, Congress candidates in many Lok Sabha constituencies have been left to slog alone with the State leadership making no efforts to organise campaigning on behalf of the candidates. Though Rahul Gandhi and a couple of other leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Sachin Pilot participated in a public meeting or two, TPCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy confined himself to his Lok Sabha poll campaiging in Nalgonda constituency.
Following its humiliating defeat in the Assembly polls, the Congress party is going it alone in the Lok Sabha polls. However, a few candidates are seeking support from their former allies like TDP, Telangana Jana Samithi and others, individually. The party also suffered severe blow with about nine MLAs anncouncing their plans to quit the party and join TRS. Several former Ministers, legislators and other Congress leaders too are deserting Congress to joining TRS, weakening the grand-old party.
On the other hand, BJP which suffered a drubbing in the Assembly elections by winning only one out of 119 seats, is contesting for all 17 seats on its own. Top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the party national president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, several Union Cabinet Ministers and others took part in at least seven-eight public meetings. However, the biggest disadvantage for BJP in the Lok Sabha elections appears to be unfamiliar faces except for a couple of candidates who are all heavily banking on popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One has to wait till April 11 when the State goes to polls in 91 Lok Sabha seats spread across 20 other States and Union Territories in the country. The results will be declared on May 23.