The stage is set for the elections of Telangana Legislative Council from two Graduates' constituencies on Sunday. Polling began at 8 am and will continue till 4 pm for Mahabubnagar- Rangareddy-Hyderabad and Warangal-Khammam- Nalgonda Graduates' constituencies. Over 10 lakh graduates would be exercising their franchise in preferential method at 1,530 polling stations.
As many as 93 candidates are contesting from the Mahabubnagar-Rangareddy-
The campaigning for the election from the two Graduates' constituencies witnessed a war of words between the ruling TRS and opposition BJP and Congress.
Against the backdrop of unexpected setbacks in the Dubbaka Assembly seat bye-poll and Hyderabad civic polls late last year, the ruling TRS made a determined bid to win the two Council seats and deployed state ministers, MPs and other leaders for the campaign.
In a surprise move, TRS fielded former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao's daughter S Vani Devi, an educationist and artist, as its candidate from Mahabubnagar-Rangareddy- Hyderabad Graduates' constituency.
Sitting MLC and BJP leader N Ramachander Rao, however, put up a spirited campaign. Union MoS (Home) G Kishan Reddy, BJP OBC Morcha national president K Laxman and other leaders canvassed for the BJP nominee. Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' addressed two meetings recently to support Ramachander Rao's candidature.
TRS Working President and state minister KT Rama Rao, who spearheaded the TRS' campaign, attacked the BJP over the NDA government allegedly not implementing the promises made to Telangana at the time of bifurcation of undivided Andhra Pradesh and allegedly not providing two crore jobs in the country every year, as promised.
The BJP, meanwhile, sought to corner the ruling TRS for allegedly neglecting the education sector and not providing jobs, among others.
The TRS fielded sitting MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy from Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda Graduates' constituency while the BJP candidate is G Premender Reddy. Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) leader M Kodandaram is in the fray from the constituency. The counting of votes would be taken up on March 17.