Palair sees high-voltage campaign

Palair sees high-voltage campaign
Highlights

With just three days left for the end of campaigning for Palair Assembly bypoll, a galaxy of heavyweights belonging to all three major parties TRS, Congress and CPI (M)-converged in Khammam.

Galaxy of leaders descend on the constituency in Khammam district

Khammam: With just three days left for the end of campaigning for Palair Assembly bypoll, a galaxy of heavyweights belonging to all three major parties TRS, Congress and CPI (M)-converged in Khammam. Though it is a triangular contest, the byelection is witnessing an unprecedented political battle in which arch rivals-Congress, Telugu Desam and YSR Congress are putting up a united fight against the ruling TRS.

Since the TRS had turned down the Congress’ plea to leave the seat unopposed to sitting MLA Ramreddy Venkat Reddy’s widow Sucharitha, leaders of both the parties upped the ante against each other. While the Congress is determined to pull off a miracle win by stopping the TRS juggernaut, its counterpart has other ideas.

Besides continuing its winning spree in the State, the ruling party’s aim is to strengthen its base in the district. It may be mentioned here that in 2014 elections, the TRS had only managed to win Kothagudem seat. In that election, Ravella Ravindra, who contested on the TRS ticket from Palair seat lost his deposit.

Against this backdrop, the TRS leadership, taking no undue risk has fielded Tummala Nageswara Rao to ensure its spree of wins in the State. Organising plenary in Khammam last month was also a strategic decision by the ruling party. Notwithstanding the stunning gains it made by attracting the top leaders of the YSRC apart from local MLA Puvvada Ajay Kumar into its fold, the TRS appears to be sceptical about its win considering the number of Ministers and MLAs deputed to oversee the campaigning in Palair.

While the development is the main poll plank of the TRS, the Congress is banking on sympathy vote, apart from the support of the Telugu Desam and the YSR Congress. Though TDP and YSRC are apparently beleaguered by the defections, the Congress is confident of winning the election by exposing the failures of the ruling party.

The Congress scored a point over TRS when it succeeded in getting the transfer of the district Collector and the Superintendent of Police by lodging a complaint with the Election Commission of India that ruling party was trying to influence the district administration. Thereafter, it has become a battle of wits between the two parties with leaders on both sides unleashing attack against each other.

The wordy duel between TPCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy and IT Minister KT Rama Rao (KTR) reached its peak with the former calling the latter a ‘bachha’ in politics while refusing to accept his challenge to resign from the party post if TRS wins the bypoll. The latter retorted it saying that if he is a ‘bachha’ then AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi is also a bachha.

Meanwhile, the campaign on Wednesday reached a crescendo with TDP’ Revanth Reddy, Congress’ Bhatti Vikramarka, Shabbir Ali, Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, TRS’ KTR, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, CPM’s Tammineni Veerabhadram taking to the streets ahead of May 16 polling.

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