Hyderabad: Even as the Opposition parties in the State are struggling to find their feet, TRS candidates, including Ministers, unleashed their poll campaign with panache, seizing the ‘early bird opportunity’ offered by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao announcing candidates to 105 of the 119 Assembly seats in the State in one shot.
The Chief Minister’s twin announcement of Assembly dissolution and the list of candidates on September 6 had left the Opposition dumb-founded and the ruling party buoyant. After pulling the carpet from under the Opposition feet, Chandrashekhar Rao directed his party candidates to get into the poll mode immediately.
Ministers and sitting MLAs, whose names figured in the list, arrived in their constituencies after Chandrashekhar Rao kick-started the campaign, addressing a mammoth public meeting at Husnabad in Siddipet district the very next day (September 7).
Sunday saw Ministers, senior leaders and candidates actively campaigning for the election, which is likely to be held sooner than later as is evident by the development taking place in the Election Commission, vis-a-vis Telangana State. Some Ministers who returned to their constituencies were accorded a rousing welcome by party cadres and supporters gathering in large numbers. Massive motorcycle rallies marked the occasion. The fact that the election mood has already set in, was palpable in every town and village on Sunday with the TRS nominees putting up hoardings at all vantage points. Many towns have already been painted pink with TRS candidates going all out in their electioneering.
The entire electorate is fully aware of the fact that the elections are being held months ahead of schedule and are waiting to teach the Congress a lesson, he said. “As the Chief Minister put it, the Congress is blind to the development that is taking place and people are aware of this. It will once again be an overwhelming mandate for the TRS,” he asserted.
The Minister for Roads & Buildings Thummala Nageswar Rao, who took part in an official programme in Yellandu constituency, had a meeting with the chief functionaries of the party’s district unit. Moves are afoot to launch the campaign on a massive scale in all the constituencies in the districts of Khammam and Bhadradri Kothagudem simultaneously.
The mood is upbeat in the camp of Jalagam Venkat Rao who launched the election campaign in Kothagudem Assembly constituency on Saturday. A massive rally was organised in the coal town. He said over Rs 2,000 crore was spent on development programmes in the constituency. In addition to this, the government had spent huge amounts on Sitarama Project and the TSGenco units (KTPS new unit). “The response from the public is overwhelming,” he said.
The Minister for Forests and BC development, Jogu Ramanna, launched his campaign in Adilabad, while the Minister for Housing A Indrakaran Reddy began making contacts with key functionaries of the party in his Nirmal constituency since Saturday.
Those aspiring for tickets of the opposition parties, especially the Congress, BJP and the Left parties are busy lobbying. The Congress is yet to decide on its nominees. In case of delay in announcing the candidates beyond a week, its nominees will find it difficult to blunt the impact of the TRS nominees.
Barring a few, almost all the Ministers are thick in the campaign in their respective districts. As desired by the party chief, they had the first round of preparatory talks with the party nominees finalised for the various segments.
Since the party chief is expected to embark on a whirlwind tour of all the 31 districts, the venues for his public meetings are being identified and finalised. They are out to launch a blitzkrieg targeting mainly the Congress, focusing on the TRS government’s success in the areas where the successive Congress governments in the undivided State failed to deliver.