Hyderabad: Campaigning for the Telangana elections concluded on Wednesday evening, with polling scheduled to be held two days later on 7 December.
While there were no major incidents reported throughout for most parts of the campaign, the superintendent of Vikarabad district, Annapurna, was transferred out with immediate effect on Wednesday, a day after she took Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee working president A. Revanth Reddy into preventive custody after he tried to disrupt a public meeting.
Reddy had given a bandh call on 4 December at Kodangal to disrupt a meeting addressed by caretaker chief minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) supremo K. Chandrashekhar Rao. The police took Reddy into custody at 3 a.m. from his residence. The Congress and other Opposition parties objected to it and approached Telengana chief electoral officer Rajat Kumar on the issue.
Reddy is contesting the upcoming polls from the Kodangal seat.
Kumar also asked the police for a report on the issue. In the walk-up to the elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) seized cash and other materials worth a cumulative ₹ 111 crore till 3 December, out of which ₹ 94.17 crore was cash. A total of 1,306 cases for paid news in television news channels were also filed, out of which, 303 cases were filed in Hyderabad.
Telangana has 119 Assembly seats, and 1,821 candidates are contesting this election. The TRS is facing the grand alliance of the Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India and the Telangana Jana Samithi. The TRS, which is on “friendly" terms with Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) , is contesting all the 119 seats, while the AIMIM fielded eight candidates, all in Hyderabad.
As part of its alliance, the Congress has fielded 99 candidates, TDP 13, TJS 8 and the CPI 3 (TJS and Congress both have candidates in spite of it in four seats as part of “friendly contests"). In the previous 2014 state polls, the TRS won 63 seats, Congress 21, TDP 15, AIMIM 7, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 5, YSR Congress Party (which is not contesting in Telangana now) 3, and the rest, others.
The total electoral strength in Telangana this time is 2.80 crore. Even till Wednesday evening, both TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu addressed meetings across the state as part of their campaigns, and later in the evening addressed a joint press conference with Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition leaders.