With poll notification out, Telangana set for three-cornered fight

Telangana |  IANS  | Published : Thu, Apr 18, 2024, 12:29 PM

Hyderabad, April 18 (IANS) The Election Commission on Thursday issued notification for elections to 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana along with by-election to Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly constituency on May 13, setting the stage for a three-cornered contest among the ruling Congress, opposition BRS and the BJP.

With the issue of notification, the process of receiving nominations has been set in motion. April 25 is the last date for filing of nominations.

The scrutiny of nominations will be taken up on April 26 while the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is April 29.

Polling in all 17 Lok Sabha constituencies and for the by-election to the Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly seat will be held on May 13.

Polling in 104 Assembly segments in the state will be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. while in the remaining 13 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected segments it will conclude at 4 p.m.

A little over 3.30 crore voters, more than half of them women, are eligible to cast votes in these elections.

In the 2019 elections, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) bagged nine Lok Sabha seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won four. The Congress party had captured three seats while All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) had retained Hyderabad.

Fresh from its victory in the Assembly elections held in November 2023, the Congress party is looking to improve its performance this time. The party has set a target of 12 seats and it is hoping to capitalise on the defections of several leaders from BRS to the Congress camp during the last couple of months.

The BJP is also confident of improved performance following the good show in the Assembly elections. The saffron party is looking to increase its tally to double digits.

Jolted by the exodus of several leaders, including five sitting MPs, MLAs, and MLCs, the BRS will be facing an acid test in retaining the seats it won in 2019.

In the Assembly elections, Congress had captured power by bagging 64 seats in the 119-member House. The BRS, which has been ruling India’s youngest state since its formation 10 years ago, won 39 seats. The BJP secured eight seats while the AIMIM retained seven seats. The CPI, an ally of Congress, was victorious in one constituency.

Lasya Nanditha, BRS sitting MLA from Secunderabad Cantonment, died in a road accident in February, necessitating the by-election along with the Lok Sabha polls.

The BRS also lost two sitting MLAs to Congress. One of them, D. Nagender is contesting as Congress candidate from Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat, where Union Minister and state BJP president G. Kishan Reddy is seeking re-election.

In Hyderabad, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi will be locked in a direct fight with BJP’s Madhavi Latha. Owaisi’s party has been holding the seat since 1984.

While BJP and BRS have announced candidates for all 17 seats, the Congress is yet to declare candidates for three seats -- Khammam, Karimnagar and Hyderabad.

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