Hyderabad: While the central Election Commission has not yet announced the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections, the political atmosphere in Telangana state is heating up, with BJP president Amith Shah, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao touring the districts and holding preparatory meetings.
Political parties are expecting the election schedule to be announced on March 9 or 10 and have started their campaigns. They had expected the schedule to be announced by the end-February, but due to the Pulwama terror attack and consequent developments, the Election Commiss-ion delayed making the announcement.
BJP national president Amit Shah went on the campaign trail in Nizamabad district on Wednesday, while Congress president Rahul Gandhi will do the same from the Chevella constituency in Ranga Reddy district (old) on March 9. TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao has begun holding constituency-wise meetings of party workers on Wednesday in Karimnagar.
In the previous Lok Sabha elections, the TRS won 11 seats, the Congress two, and the BJP one. This time the TRS wants to win 16 of the 17 seats in the state. The MIM, a party friendly to the TRS, will contest from Hyderabad.
Telangana state Congress leaders are hoping their party will perform better than it did in the recent Assembly elections. They are of the view that the Lok Sabha elections will be between the BJP and the Congress and there is an anti-BJP mood that will help the Congress win five to six seats.
Telangana state BJP leaders also hope for a better performance than the Assembly elections. They are relying on the air strikes on Pakistan to bring in the popular vote and believe there is a pro-Modi mood among voters.
For its part the TRS is confident it will maintain its ascendancy whether in Assembly or Lok Sabha elections and that in Telangana the vote will go to TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao.