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After electrifying campaign, Telangana set to go for LS polls on May 13

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NewsDrum Desk
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Asaduddin Owaisi Madhavi Latha

Madhavi Latha (L); Asaduddin Owaisi (R)

Hyderabad: After a high-decibel campaign, including by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top leaders of Congress and BRS, the stage is now set for polling on Sunday to elect 17 Lok Sabha members from the state in a single phase.

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The Election Commission has also made arrangements to conduct a bypoll for the Secunderabad (Cantonment) Assembly seat to be held tomorrow.

As many as 625 candidates, including Union Minister and Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy, the party’s national general secretary Bandi Sanjay Kumar and senior leader Etala Rajender are among the saffron party candidates while the Congress fielded among others, BRS turncoats Danam Nagender and K Kavya.

AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi is seeking re-election from the party's bastion of Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency and the BJP has fielded a political novice but enthusiastic K Madhavi Latha who has begun a spirited campaign.

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The former IPS officer RS Praveen Kumar and sitting MP Nama Nageswar Rao, among others, are in the poll fray from former Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao-led BRS.

Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several union ministers including Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, and Congress leaders Mallikrajun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy canvassed for their respective party candidates.

The Congress campaign centered around reservations for SC, ST and OBC alleging that BJP, if voted to power at the Centre again, will try to abolish quota for the above sections. It also highlighted the implementation of five out of the six Assembly poll guarantees in Telangana by the party-led government.

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The BJP focussed mainly on how the grand old party will allegedly try to snatch away reservations and allot it to "Muslims" and controversial comments by Congress leader Sam Pitroda on “race and skin colours of Indians”.

The BRS campaign, led by former chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, highlighted the failures of the incumbent Congress government, besides attacking the BJP on various issues.

According to State Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj, about Rs 320 crore worth of cash, freebies and other articles have been seized during the period of poll code.

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Over 3.31 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise in 35,356 polling stations across the state.

The counting of votes will be taken up on June 4 nationwide.

A press release from Telangana DGP’s office said over 73,000 civil police, 500 sections of the state special police, 164 companies of central armed police forces, three companies of Tamil Nadu police, 2,088 officials from other departments and 7,000 home guards are deployed as part of security measures.

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All vehicles carrying EVMs and VVPATs are fitted with GPS systems and provided invariably with armed security by Central forces.

Telangana recorded 62 per cent voter turnout in the 2019 Parliamentary elections.

The BRS (then TRS) won nine seats, BJP - four, Congress - three and AIMIM - one seat in the 2019 general elections.

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