More harried than others is the TRS, which is virtually fighting a do-or-die battle to keep its flag flying, as the trends indicate a dip in its fortunes in a few segments,
contrary to expectations that it will ride high on the "sentiment".
A tacit operation of the ruling Congress, in concert with its ally Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, may turn the tide in its favour in one or two segments, which are too critical for the TRS as well, according to political observers.
The Congress, which was nowhere in contest when the race began, now started focusing its energies on a couple of segments particularly in Mahbubnagar district to make the ride tough for the TRS, trends from the constituencies indicate.
Defeat in even one of the five constituencies it is contesting can prove the nemesis for TRS. Even the top TRS leaders like T Harish Rao have acknowledged this fact and fear it could spell doom for the party.
The by-elections to six Assembly segments in Telangana and one in coastal Andhra slated for March 18 are being dubbed the "quarter-finals" before the "semi-finals" in the next few months when 17 other constituencies will see a similar battle.
In Kovur constituency in coastal Andhra, the fight is straight between N Prasanna Kumar Reddy of YSR Congress and Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy of the Telugu Desam Party. The Congress can only hope to get the third position here.
In Mahbubnagar, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti are battling it out on the Telangana statehood plank. The TDP is giving a good fight to both these parties by fielding former minister P Chandrasekhar.
In Nagarkurnool, the contest is between former minister Nagam Janardhan Reddy and his parent party TDP's Marri Janardhana Reddy. In both these segments, however, a "surprising result" is not being ruled out.
State Information Minister D K Aruna, who hails from Mahbubnagar, has made the by-elections a prestige issue to assert her dominance in district politics. She has, in
particular, been training her energies on Kollapur segment, where her arch rival and former minister Jupalli Krishna Rao is the TRS candidate.
In Kamareddy, the going may not be smooth for the TRS where the Congress and the TDP are trailing it closely. The TRS, however, has a clear edge in Adilabad and Station Ghanpur constituencies, as current trends indicate.
Hyderabad: Political dynamics seem to be changing ahead of the crucial by-elections to seven assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh and going by the turn of events, the results may well spring a surprise or two particularly in the Telangana region where six constituencies are facing by-polls on March 18.
First Published: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 23:09