Crowd stayed away as TRS Lok Sabha candidates didn’t spend

Organisers lost interest as candidates kept funds for final phase.

Hyderabad: TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and party working president K.T. Rama Rao have taken a serious view of the poor turnout at the LB Stadium meeting here on Friday night, which led to its cancellation at the last minute.

Sources said Mr Chandrasekhar Rao was angry with those who had organised the meeting. Mr Rama Rao on Saturday discussed the issue of with party leaders before leaving for his election campaign in Warangal district.

This is for the first time in the history of the TRS that the party has had to cancel a public meeting due to the lack of a substantial audience.

Sources said the TRS was facing a funds crunch for the Lok Sabha elections and had asked the party candidates to organise the public meetings on their own. They also have to organise the meetings that are to be addressed by Mr Chandrasekhar Rao. In the recent Assembly elections, all public meetings were conducted at party expense.

The cost of conducting each public meeting ranges between Rs 2 crore and Rs 5 crore, depending on the size of the crowd mobilisation.

The public meeting at LB stadium was aimed at mobilising the public from Chevella, Secunderabad and Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituencies consisting of 21 Assembly segments. Sources said the nominees for these three Lok Sabha seats did not give any funds to party MLAs and other leaders to mobilise the crowd. Because of this, some of the MLAs did not take much interest in mobilising the public for the meeting.

TRS leaders said that the candidates wanted to spend the money in the last days of the election campaign.

The TRS leadership expecting about 50,000 people to turn up at the stadium. Only a fraction of this number turned up, and many of these started leaving when the party leaders were addressing them. After they came to khow of this, the TRS leadership canceled the meeting.

TRS leaders said that generally in the districts the public is mobilised from surrounding villages by arranging transport. If a public meeting is delayed they will wait at the venue as they will find it difficult to return on their own.

In Hyderabad, the organisers mobilise the public from in and around the city. If the meeting is delayed, as happened on Friday, they will find it easier to go home.

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