Hyderabad: The more than five-month-long electioneering in Huzurabad will come to an end at 5 pm on Wednesday with the Election Commission of India (EC) prescribing a 72-hour period of silence before the polling begins on October 30.
The norm is to end the campaign 48 hours before polling, but the Election Commission had extended the period to three days in the last three phases of the West Bengal elections.
All major parties remain tense as they fail to gauge the pulse of voters even after the long campaign since May except that the main contest is between the TRS and the BJP. The parties are focused on door-to-door campaigning to meet every voter and seek votes for the past one week.
They are also occupied by micro-level booth management by appointing incharges for every ward whose job is to ensure voters reach polling booths and cast votes. The TRS has been receiving contradictory reports from ground-level from its leaders and cadre in Huzurabad.
While some point to BJP candidate Etala Rajendar leading by up to 15 per cent votes, some indicate the TRS candidate Gellu Srinivas Yadav has an edge by 10 per cent votes.
Delegates who attended the TRS plenary on Monday were seen discussing these ground reports extensively among themselves.
They said the situation had considerably improved for the TRS in the constituency at present than May when TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao sacked Rajendar from his Cabinet in the first week of May. They said at that time Rajendar was leading by over 50 per cent votes, which had now come down to less than 10 per cent.
Although Rajendar quit the TRS and the MLA post on June 12 and joined the BJP on June 14, the election atmosphere had set in Huzurabad constituency in May itself with the TRS ministers and MLAs camping and campaigning in the constituency since then.
The TRS is facing Huzurabad bypoll without the public meeting of its star campaigner Chandrashekar Rao.
The Chief Minister cancelled his public meeting planned for October 27 following the EC imposing restrictions on public gatherings at 1,000 in Huzurabad and bordering areas covering the entire Karimnagar and Hanamkonda districts. The TRS had planned to hold a huge public meeting of the Chief Minister with one lakh people, but was forced to cancel.