Hyderabad: Curtains came down on Friday on
campaigning for the by-polls to the seven assembly seats in
Campaigning in any form is not allowed after 5 pm today,
state Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwar Lal told reporters.
Polling for the seven segments, six of them in Telangana
region, would be held on March 18 from 8 am to 5 pm.
The by-polls to five out of the six constituencies in
Telangana region were necessitated due to the resignation of
sitting MLAs in support of separate statehood demand. While
in Mahabubnagar, it was due to the death of a sitting member
and in Kovur due to the resignation of sitting TDP MLA in
support of Kadapa MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
There are 13,82,086 voters in the seven constituencies
who will cast their votes in 1660 polling stations.
Elaborate arrangements have been made for the polling and
security in the region has been tightened, the CEO said.
While the TRS is banking heavily on strong sentiment in
favour of separate state to sail through in the by-polls, the
ruling Congress is appealing voters citing welfare and
development measures undertaken by the state government.
TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao has often alleged that
it was Congress and as also TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu who stalled the formation of separate state. Naidu, however,
countered it saying that the TRS leader was only trying to
gain political mileage in the name of Telangana.
The by-poll in Kovur would be the first electoral battle
to be faced by Jagan after he won from his bastion Kadapa. He
undertook extensive campaign in Kovur.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and actor-turned-
politician Chiranjeevi were the star campaigners for Congress.
Asked about the complaint of TRS against the Chief
Minister that he promised to release funds for drinking water
in violation of model code, the Chief Electoral Officer
Bhanwar Lal said the matter was pending with the Election
Meanwhile, about Rs 9 crore of unaccounted money was
seized during the electioneering, he added.
The counting of votes would be taken up on March 21.