TRS in tight spot as EC spoils mega meet

TRS cries foul over EC's U-turn on public meetings, KCR not in favour of roadshows in Huzurabad

HYDERABAD: The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is crying foul over the orders issued by the Election Commission of India (EC) all of a sudden late on Thursday imposing Covid restrictions on public meetings to be held in adjoining districts of Huzurabad. The TRS, which already suffered a jolt with the EC halting the ‘ongoing scheme' Dalit Bandhu recently, faced another setback with the latest restrictions on public meetings.

This is because the TRS leaders in Huzurabad made all the arrangements for the public meeting of TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on October 27 at Penchikalpeta village with one lakh people, which is just 5 km away from Huzurabad.

The TRS chose that village after the EC clarified earlier that the Covid restrictions capping maximum gathering of people at 1,000 for public meetings were applicable only to poll-bound Huzurabad Assembly consituency. Penchikalpeta village falls under neighbouring Husnabad consituency in Hanamkonda district.

When the EC issued Huzurabad poll schedule on September 28, it announced that the election code would be in force in Karimnagar and Hanamkonda districts as Huzurabad constituency falls in both the districts.

However, after the EC issued poll notification on October 1, it clarified that the poll code was applicable only in Huzurabad constituency and not the entire Karimnagar and Hanamkonda districts. Based on this, the TRS planned a huge public meeting of Rao in a 25-acre ground at Penchikapeta village on October 27 and pinned its hopes on the Chief Minister’s meeting to boost party's winning prospects ahead of polling on October 30.

At this stage, the EC again issued fresh orders on Thursday stating that the poll code applied to the entire Karimnagar and Hanamkonda districts and no huge public rallies would be allowed in neighbouring constituencies or districts of Huzurabad.

Rao on Friday discussed the issue with ministers, party MLAs and senior leaders camped in Huzurabad and asked them to explore alternate options for his campaigning. He asked them to submit him alternate proposals. The TRS sources said while some leaders requested him to hold roadshows or street corner meetings in Huzurabad, Rao reportedly refused to do so as he feels it is below his stature and never addressed roadshows or street corner meetings during elections even when he was not the Chief Minister prior to 2014.

There were proposals to address virtual meetings by setting up giant screens in multiple locations in Huzurabad constituency but Rao reportedly was averse to the idea. The TRS sources say Rao may now use the TRS plenary session in Hyderabad on October 25 to give a message to Huzurabad voters and seek their support in the bypoll.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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