Hyderabad: The stage is set for elections for 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana state on Thursday with security arrangements made to ensure free and fair polls. The EC has made elaborate arrangements for voters to cast their vote.
Polling in Nizamabad will begin at 8 am and end at 6 pm — a longer period than in other constituencies in view of the large number of candidates.
The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti, which had bagged 11 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, is this time confident of sweeping 16 seats, leaving the Hyderabad seat for its ally the Majlis-e-Ittihadul Muslimeen (MIM).
In the Assembly election held in December 2018, the TRS won 88 seats in the 119-member House, while the Congress won only 19. The BJP could manage only one seat and BJP candidates lost their deposits in 103 segments.
The TRS leadership is confident of marginalising both the Congress, which has suffered from defections and desertions after the Assembly results, and the BJP, which has almost lost its base in many Assembly segments in the state.
While the TRS is confident of winning 17 seats in the company of the MIM, the opposition Congress and BJP appear to be focused on winning select number of seats.
The Congress leadership is confident of winning Nalgonda from where TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy is contesting, and also Khammam (Renuka Chowdary), Bhongir (Komatireddy Venkat Reddy), Chevella (Konda Vishweshwar Reddy) and Malkajgiri (A Revanth Reddy).
The BJP hopes to win Mahabubnagar (D.K. Aruna), Secunderabad (G Kishan Reddy) and Peddapally (A Chandrasekhar).