Telangana's spiteful campaign is finally over

Telangana's spiteful campaign is finally over

Campaigning for the 17 Lok Sabha and 119 Assembly constituencies of Telangana came to an end at 4 pm on Monday, drawing curtains over one of the most acerbic and spiteful electoral battles in Andhra Pradesh’s electoral history. 

Telangana region is going to polls on April 30 and will have its votes counted on May 16 along with Seemandhra. 

The personal attacks of leaders was at the most spiteful when TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu directed his ire against TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao at a public meeting in Gajwel in Medak district just an hour before close of campaigning in the region.

“KCR... I will see to it that you are chased out of your farm house. You sent people to attack my son Lokesh and now me. You drink and sleep in the night, and send drunken party men to attack others in the morning. Make no mistake, Modi will be the prime minister , I will be chief minister of Seemandhra and Pratap will be MLA of Gajwel,” Naidu said.

The TDP leader snapped when TRS workers tried to create trouble before the dais where Naidu and Gajwel MLA candidate Pratap Reddy were addressing the crowd.

Known to speak little on campaign, Naidu was uncharacteristically aggressive in his criticism this time. 

“Congress is a party of thieves and cheats. YSRC is a party of robbers and KCR is a betrayer of Telangana. A day will come when people will chase him out of this region,” Naidu said.

Campaigning for the TDP-BJP combine in parts of Telangana, actor Pawan Kalyan warned the TRS chief by saying he would skin him alive if he speaks bad of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. 

“KCR has been making cheap comments about Narendra Modi.  One more word and I will skin KCR alive,” the Jana Sena leader said in Telangana heartland of Warangal. 

KCR responded by issuing his own threats. “Who is that puny little actor? I have not seen his movies. How dare he warn KCR in Warangal? One snap of the finger and he will be cut into pieces,” the TRS leader retaliated, as the war of words degenerated from ugly to outrageous. 

Blaming the heat

Blame it on the heat that made life miserable for the leaders on the campaign trail, but TPCC chief Ponnala Laxmaiah, ever the soft spoken and gentle kind, bawled: “I am not like KCR. I am neither involved in trafficking women nor in fake passport racketeering.”

Attacks in neighbouring Seemandhra turned physical when a group of YSRC activists sprayed pepper on BJP leader D Purandeswari, the party candidate from Rajampet Lok Sabha constituency in the Reddy-dominated Kadapa. Following the incident, there was commotion in the Somala mandal headquarters on Sunday. 

Taking the verbal assaults to a new low, YSR Congress leader and Jaganmohan Reddy’s sister Sharmila called actor N Balakrishna of the TDP mentally unstable person. 

“He is a lunatic. Balakrishna was certified as mentally unstable. Don't elect an unstable person,” she said addressing a road show in Kuppam, the Assembly segment from where Balakrishna's brother in law Chandrababu Naidu is contesting.

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