Byelections crucial for all parties in fray

Political pundits feel that this time, during the bypolls, the victory margins of the the TRS and the YSR Congress candidates will not be as before. For the BJP, the contest in Mahbubnagar is crucial as its candidate is pitted against the Congress, TRS and the TD. The results here are going to be interesting as it is expected that the pro-Telangana votes will be split between the TRS and the BJP.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy will want to prove a point to the TRS by either winning a couple of seats in Telangana or by reducing the TRS margins so that there is no repeat of resignations on the Telangana issue. He will also want to win the Kovuru seat in order to seal the political fate of Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

From the TD’s point of view, though the party still considers the Telangana issue as a weak point, it is hopeful of winning at least the Station Ghanpur seat. The important fact this time while campaigning was that both the Congress and the TD cadres were able to campaign in all villages and criticise TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao in public, something that was impossible in earlier by-polls. There is thus a visible change in the political atmosphere in this time, leaving a huge question mark on whether this is an indication that people have changed their stance on Telangana.

In the Kovuru segment, the TD is banking on a split in votes between the Congress and the YSR Congress which will help it to regain the seat. A TD win will be an indication of future politics in the state and the party will face the next round of by-polls with more vigour and confidence. For the YSR Congress and its leader Jagan Mohan Reddy, the winning margin of its candidate Mr Prasanna Kumar Reddy is going to be more crucial. YSR Congress' fate and that of Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is facing imminent arrest in the illegal assets case, will be sealed in case Mr Prasanna loses.

Meanwhile, poll experts say that the five parties have pumped in roughly Rs 200 crore in Sunday's bypolls to lure voters. In fact, the TRS, too, has been forced to spend a huge amount of money as the Congress and TD have spent heavily. In Kovuru segment alone, the Congress, TD and the TRS have together allegedly spent a whopping Rs 70 crore to purchase votes.

The leaders of all the parties, however, are wary about the Asia Cup match between India and Pakistan. With Sachin Tendulkar completing his 100th international century on Thursday, fans are expecting some fireworks from the champion, not to mention that India will be out of reckoning if they do not win Sunday's game. The last day of the marriage season is another factor that might bring polling down as many marriages are slated for the day.

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