The intense promotion for the forthcoming Telangana assembly elections concluded on Tuesday, paving the way for a three-way competition involving the incumbent Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), the Congress, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). These elections mark the final state polls before the pivotal 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Telangana, having experienced the lengthiest campaign duration among the five states participating in the November polls, is scheduled to cast votes to choose its 119-member legislative assembly on Thursday. The results for all five states, namely Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, will be announced on December 3.
Fate of 2,290 contestants in fray
On Thursday, 32.6 million eligible voters in Telangana will determine the fate of 2,290 contestants, including Chief Minister and BRS President K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), his minister-son KT Rama Rao, State Congress President A Revanth Reddy, and BJP parliamentarians Bandi Sanjay Kumar, D Arvind, and Soyam Bapurao.
The BRS, in power since 2014 when the state was separated from Andhra Pradesh, is vying for a third consecutive term, while the Congress and a resurgent BJP have spared no effort to dislodge the KCR-led party from power.
Poll planks by all parties
The ruling party's campaign has focused on its ongoing welfare initiatives for farmers and women in the state, along with criticising the Congress and the BJP. KCR has also invoked his struggle for achieving statehood for Telangana.
Accusing the BRS government of extensive corruption, the Congress pledged "six guarantees," including regular financial assistance for women and farmers in the Telugu state. The BJP's campaign, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, focused on criticizing both the KCR-led party and Congress for "dynastic politics" and "corruption," while emphasizing the importance of a "double engine government" — BJP-led administrations in both the state and at the Centre.
KCR is participating in the electoral race for seats in Gajwel and Kamareddy constituencies. State Congress chief Revanth Reddy is contesting from Kodangal and Kamareddy, while the BJP has nominated Etala Rajender for Gajwel and Huzurabad, where he currently holds the position of the incumbent legislator.
To participate in the Telangana polls, voters must present one of the 13 specified documents:
EPIC (Voter ID)
MNREGA job card
Passbook issued by a bank or post office with a photograph
Health insurance smart card
Pension document with a photo
Service identity card
Official identity card
Unique Disability ID (UID)
Additionally, the use of cell phones and electronic gadgets is prohibited inside the polling station.
Preparations for the polls
In Telangana, extensive preparations have been finalised to facilitate fair and impartial polling in the upcoming assembly elections scheduled for tomorrow. Polling teams are set to depart from this evening, with voting slated to take place for 119 Assembly seats from 7 AM to 6 PM. Over 3.26 crore electors will exercise their voting rights at 35,655 polling stations throughout the state, including more than 12,000 identified as sensitive. The Election Commission has implemented comprehensive security measures to ensure a transparent and unbiased polling process.
Heightened vigilance has been implemented at all checkpoints on the state borders, including those with Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. A total of 375 companies of Central armed forces, 50 companies of Telangana Special Police, 45,000 state police personnel, and 23,500 home guards from neighboring states have been deployed to guarantee security and maintain peace during the polling process.
Simultaneously, over 208,000 personnel have been assigned poll duties. Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj has announced the imposition of Section 144 in the state, prohibiting gatherings of four or more people. He has urged voters to participate in ethical voting and refrain from any form of inducements.