Campaigning ends for Palair by-elections, polling on May 16

Hyderabad: The high-voltage campaigning for by-elections for Palair Assembly Constituency in Khammam district came to an end on Saturday evening.

The main contest is between ruling TRS candidate and R&B Minister Tummala Nageshwara Rao and Congress candidate Ramreddy Sucharitha Reddy. The Telugu Desam Party and YSR Congress Party are not contesting the election and are backing the candidature of Sucharitha Reddy, widow of Ramreddy Venkatreddy, the sitting MLA whose sudden demise necessitated the by-elections.

The campaigning for Palair by-elections proved highly intense compared to other elections held after 2014 General Elections in Telangana State. The TRS made a thunderous start by holding its Plenary on April 27 in Khammam. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao used the occasion to wipe off YSR Congress party from the Telangana State. YSRCP lone MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and three MLAs jumped into TRS. Information Technology Minister K. Tarakarama Rao led the party’s campaign in Palair and did not spare any occasion to target the Congress party. He even challenged TPCC President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy with an offer to quit the post if TRS loses the Palair seat. Uttam rejected the offer by calling KTR a ‘kid’.

However, the Palair by-elections also brought main opposition parties into one platform. TDP and YSRCP leaders campaigned along with Congress leaders in favour of Sucharitha Reddy. TPCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy was successful not only in uniting the opposition parties, but he also managed to suppress the internal differences among various Congress groups.

The Election Commission of India took some major steps to ensure free and fair polling. Following a complaint lodged by the Congress party, the EC immediately transferred District SP, Collector and Returning Officer. Three Special Observers were also sent by the Election Commission.

The polling for Palair by-elections will be held on May 16 and results will be declared on May 19. (INN)