Ra­jasthan, Te­lan­gana go to elec­tions to­day

The re­sults of polls in Ra­jasthan and Te­lan­gana along with those in three other states can be a pointer to which way the wind is blow­ing ahead of next year’s gen­eral elec­tions

The Gulf Today - - ASIA -

JAIPUR/HYDERABAD: RA­JASTHAN and Te­lan­gana will go to the polls on Fri­day in a high-stakes bat­tle, the re­sults of which along with those in three other states can be a pointer to which way the wind is blow­ing ahead of next year’s gen­eral elec­tions.

The BJP and the Congress are locked In A tough ight In RA­JASTHAN, which has not voted the same party to power for more than one term in the last 20 years, while in Te­lan­gana the rul­ing TRS is fac­ing a resur­gent Congress-led Peo­ple’s Front in its bid for a sec­ond term.

The con­test is largely bipo­lar be­tween the BJP and Congress for the 200-mem­ber Ra­jasthan Assem­bly but is ex­pected to be tri­an­gu­lar, es­pe­cially in some seats, for the 119-mem­ber Te­lan­gana assem­bly where the Congress has tied up with un­likely ri­val TDP, CPI and Te­lan­gana JANA SAMITHI (TJS), A new party loated by M. Ko­dan­daram, who was once Chief Minister K. Chan­drasekhar Rao’s friend in the Te­lan­gana move­ment.

The cam­paign in both the states has been bit­ter with per­son­alised at­tacks by lead­ers of var­i­ous par­ties.

In RA­JASTHAN, THE BJP Is IGHT­ING anti-in­cum­bency to re­tain power.

While over 4.74 crore peo­ple are el­i­gi­ble to vote in Ra­jasthan, there are over 2.80 crore vot­ers in Te­lan­gana.

The vot­ing will start at 7 a.m. in Te­lan­gana and at 8 a.m. in Ra­jasthan AND VVPATS (voter VERIIABLE pa­per au­dit trail) will be used in all the con­stituen­cies. Vot­ers will also have NOTA (none of the above) op­tion.

Tight se­cu­rity has been made in both the states and the re­sults will be de­clared on De­cem­ber 11 along with those of Ch­hat­tis­garh, Mad­hya Pradesh and Mi­zo­ram.

Te­lan­gana has 51,796 polling sta­tions, an in­crease of 14.25 per cent over the pre­vi­ous elec­tion in 2013.

In Te­lan­gana, the po­lit­i­cal for­tunes of 1,821 can­di­dates will be de­cided in 119 Con­stituen­cies In THE irst Elec­tion af­ter Te­lan­gana was formed.

Elec­tion au­thor­i­ties have made elab­o­rate ar­range­ments for a smooth con­duct of the polling process in 32,815 polling sta­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Te­lan­gana’s Chief Elec­toral OFI­CER RA­JAT Ku­mar, polling will be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in 106 con­stituen­cies while in 13 Left Wing Ex­trem­ism af­fected con­stituen­cies polling will con­clude at 4 p.m.

As the Com­mu­nist Party of In­dia­maoist has given a call for boy­cott of elec­tions, the po­lice height­ened vigil in ar­eas bor­der­ing Ch­hat­tis­garh and Ma­ha­rash­tra.

The TRS gov­ern­ment Dis­solved the Assem­bly about eight months ahead of sched­ule in the hope of tak­ing the op­po­si­tion par­ties by sur­prise but the Congress threw a sur­prise by com­ing up with an al­liance in a bid to oust the rul­ing party.

Te­lan­gana Chief Minister and TRS Pres­i­dent K. Chan­drashekhar Rao, his 14 cab­i­net col­leagues in­clud­ing a son and a nephew and state pres­i­dents of the Congress and the BJP are among 1,821 can­di­dates in the fray for Fri­day’s Assem­bly elec­tions.

All In­dia Ma­jlis-e-it­te­hadul Mus­limeen (AIMIM) leader Ak­barud­din Owaisi, state Congress work­ing Pres­i­dent A. Re­vanth Reddy and Tel­ugu De­sam Party (TDP) founder NT Rama Rao’s grand­daugh­ter N. Suhasini are among the other key can­di­dates whose po­lit­i­cal for­tunes will be de­cided in the polling on Fri­day.

KCR, as the Te­lan­gana Rash­tra Samithi (TRS) chief is pop­u­larly known, is seek­ing re-elec­tion from Ga­jwel con­stituency in Sid­dipet dis­trict. The 64-year-old, who never lost an Assem­bly or Lok Sabha elec­tions since mak­ing HIS DE­BUT In 1985, Is Conident of yet an­other vic­tory.

KCR’S son KT Rama Rao, who is num­ber two in both party and gov­ern­ment, is aim­ing for a third term from Sir­cilla con­stituency.

KCR’S nephew and cab­i­net minister T. Har­ish Rao ap­pears set to re­tain Sid­dipet seat for the fourth term in a row. Con­sid­ered a pow­er­ful leader in the rul­ing party, he also won two by­elec­tions from the same seat.

Among the other min­is­ters, Etela RA­JEN­DER, who Holds inance port­fo­lio, is test­ing his for­tunes once again from Huzurabad.

Congress party’s Te­lan­gana unit chief N. Ut­tam Ku­mar Reddy, who may emerge as a strong con­tender for the Chief Minister’s post in the event of Congress-led Peo­ple’s Front com­ing to power, is con­test­ing for a third con­sec­u­tive term.

Re­vanth Reddy is an­other key con­tes­tant. Re­vanth, whose mid­night ar­rest on Tues­day trig­gered a storm, is con­test­ing again from Ko­dan­gal, con­sid­ered a po­lit­i­cally sen­si­tive con­stituency.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Polling of­fi­cers gather be­fore leav­ing for their as­signed polling sta­tions in Hyderabad on Thurs­day.

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