Telangana’s turn to vote in LS polls today

Elections will serve as a referendum on the five-month rule of Congress as BRS fights for life and BJP eyes expansion
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Representative Image

HYDERABAD: Polling for all the 17 seats in Telangana in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha polls is set to begin at 7 am on Monday. As many as 3.32 crore voters will decide the fate of 525 candidates. Voting will continue till 6 pm, except in the 13 Assembly constituencies termed Maoist-affected where it will end at 4 pm.

For the grand old party, this election serves as a referendum; for the pink party, it’s a matter of existence; and for the saffron party, it’s an opportunity to expand its base. The main contest in the state will be between the Congress and BJP, but the BRS is expected to give them a run for their money in a handful of segments.

Political observers have termed the elections a ‘referendum’ for the Congress because it won the Assembly polls in 2023 by making many promises. Discussions in political circles suggest that if the Congress wins 10–12 seats, the party will see it as an indication of satisfaction with the performance of Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy.

In the meantime, the BRS, having lost power in the state after the Assembly polls, is riddled with many issues. Several of its MLAs, MPs and key leaders have shifted to its competitors as the pink party is fighting for its existence. However, even if the BRS manages to win 4–5 seats, it would have made a dent in the expectations of the two national parties and could eye a resurgence in the state.

The BJP’s tally increased from one seat in 2014 (three in undivided Andhra Pradesh) to four in the 2019 polls and it will be trying to ride on the momentum. The BJP, whose leaders have said they will win 10 or more seats in this Lok Sabha polls, will look to build a dedicated cadre and voter base across the state so that the party stands a chance in the next Assembly elections.

Illegal inducements

In a bid to gain an edge in segments, especially where a triangular contest is anticipated, political party leaders are trying to lure voters by distributing cash. Sources said that parties are giving Rs 2,000–Rs 4,000 per vote. In some parts of the state, distribution of liquor is also being done in a big way, they added.

Phase 4 factoids

  • 96 Lok Sabha seats going to polls in 10 States/UTs

  • Voting across Telangana will be held from 7 am to 6 pm, except in 13 Assembly constituencies termed Maoist-affected where it will end at 4 pm

  • Apart from 17 seats in Telangana, all 25 in Andhra, 13 in UP, 11 in Maharashtra, 8 each in MP and West Bengal, 5 in Bihar, 4 in Jharkhand, 4 in Odisha and 1 in J&K going to polls

Assembly polls in AP

Voting to take place for all 175 Assembly seats in AP, which is facing a triangular contest involving YSRC, Congress-led INDIA bloc, and the NDA comprising BJP, TDP, and Jana Sena Party

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