Campaign trail: It’s Modi vs Rahul in Telangana as Lok Sabha battle intensifies

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Published: March 28, 2019 5:00:19 PM

The Amit Shah-led outfit also fared poorly in the Assembly polls in December, securing only one seat in the 119-member House as the TRS juggernaut rolled on in the state.

narendra Modi, Rahul gandhi, Telangana, Lok Sabha election, lok sabha election 2019, news, indiaPrime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing on Friday an election rally in Telangana, where the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is on a high after last year’s splendid victory in the Assembly polls. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Telangana, the BJP won only one seat — Secunderabad — out of the total 17 in the state.

The Amit Shah-led outfit also fared poorly in the Assembly polls in December, securing only one seat in the 119-member House as the TRS juggernaut rolled on in the state. The Congress is the main opposition in Telangana, where the party won 19 Assembly seats. But the Congress is in a turmoil as ten MLAs have announced their decision to quit the party since the beginning of this month and join the TRS, which now appears to have the momentum ahead of the April 11 Lok Sabha election.

D K Aruna is the BJP candidate in Mahabubnagar, where Modi is addressing the rally tomorrow. A former Congress MLA and Minister, she joined the BJP last week. The BJP also got a fresh impetus in Mahabubnagar, where the sitting TRS MP A P Jithender Reddy, who was the floor leader of the party in the Lok Sabha, joined the Amit Shah-led outfit yesterday.

Reddy was denied ticket by the TRS. Congress President Rahul Gandhi is also slated to address three election rallies in Telangana — Zaheerabad, Nagarkurnool and Nalgonda Lok Sabha segments — on April 1. Also on April 1, Modi is returning to this State to
speak at a public meeting here. But the TRS has made light of the challenge posed by the national parties in the Lok Sabha elections.

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“Congress is not winning even one seat”, Nizamabad Lok Sabha member K Kavitha, daughter of the TRS President and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, told PTI. She denied that the TRS is “soft” on the BJP vis-a-vis the Congress.

“We are never soft on BJP. Whenever Modiji and Amit Shah came here saying things about our party, we always rebutted them in strongest possible terms. The CM had time and again challenged Modi and Shah on various claims that they made,” Kavitha said. “And Congress being the principal opposition party in Telangana, we speak about them more, because honestly BJP does not matter in Telangana. They (BJP) have one seat, they are not going to get back,” she added.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the TRS won 11 seats, the Congress two and the BJP, the TDP, YSRCP and AIMIM one each. This time, the TRS has said its aim is to win 16 seats, leaving one for AIMIM with which it has teamed up.

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