Hyderabad: The TRS goes into the November 3 Dubbaka byelection with a good track record of winning such exercises, with the campaign ending on Sunday. The battle appeared to be for the No. 2 spot between the Congress, which ended up second in the 2018 Assembly election, and the BJP which came third.
The results will be declared on November 10.
The TRS and the BJP focused the campaign in the last days over the issue of Central funds for state welfare schemes. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao joined the issue by offering to resign if the BJP could prove that the Centre was funding certain programmes.
If the TRS accused the BJP-led Centre of ignoring Telangana state, the BJP and the Congress charged the government with ignoring the Dubbak constituency.
The biggest talking point towards the end of the election was the seizure of cash allegedly belonging to BJP candidate M. Raghunandan Rao and the fallout which included TS BJP president Bandi Sanjay being turned away from Siddipet district and his subsequent deeksha.
There are 23 candidates in the fray but the main fight will be between Solipeta Sujatha of the TRS, Ch. Srinivas Reddy of the Congess and the BJP’s Raghunandan Rao. Sujatha is wife of TRS legislator S. Ramalinga Reddy whose death necessitated the bypoll, Srinivas Reddy is son of former minister and Ramalinga Reddy’s rival Ch Muthyam Reddy and recently defected from the TRS.
According to the Dubbak returning officer and Siddipet collector Bharathi Hollikeri, 315 polling stations have been arranged for the 1,97,909 voters. There would be less than 1,000 voters per polling station as part of Covid-19 precautions, and gloves will be given to each voter. Polling will commence at 7 am and end at 6 pm.
Siddipet police commissioner Joel Davis said that 89 polling stations were identified as critical where paramilitary forces would be deployed.
Almost all political leaders who do not belong to Dubbak left the constituency following Election Commission orders.
While finance minister T. Harish Rao as the TRS star campaigner targeted the BJP, Medak MP K. Prabhakar Reddy and Medak MLA Padma Devender Reddy who were part of the core team, took out rallies and door-to-door campaigns on the last day.
BJP leaders led by TS unit president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, MP D. Arvind, MLA T. Raja Singh, party vice-president D.K. Aruna and former MP Vivek Venkata Swamy participated in the last day campaign.
The last day saw TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy speak online with Congress workers while working president A. Revanth Reddy with party candidate Cheruku Srinivas Reddy organised road shows....