Looks like it’s election time in Telangana, already. Though the Election Commission of India (ECI) has not issued an official notification yet, the top three political parties — Bharat Rashtra Samithi, Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress, the contenders for power in the ensuing Assembly polls — have begun their campaigns already.

The present tenure of the House ends in December 2023. The ECI is expected to come out with the election schedule soon. 

While BRS stunned the opponents by announcing a near-full list of the candidates for the 119 seats, the Congress party got its top leaders — Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge — to Hyderabad recently to kick-off the poll campaign. They even chose Hyderabad to organise the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in the city to show its strength and focus on the State.

To not be left behind, the BJP is roping in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is participating in two back-to-back public gatherings in the State — one at Mahboobnagar (October 1) and the other at Nizamabad (October 3).

The State unit of BJP, led by its President and Union Minister Kishan Reddy are working overtime to make the gatherings a success and give the party a head start for the upcoming polls. He is going to flag off developmental works in the State, including virtual inauguration of the 800-MW power plant at the NTPC, which was taken up with an investment of ₹6,000 crore.

“The Centre has allotted ₹9-lakh crore to the State in the last nine years. The State, however, has failed in honouring its promises,” Kishan Reddy said.

Though BRS is confident of retaining power for the third time in a row, it faces an uphill task in Khammam and Nalgonda districts. With the CPI and CPM hinting at forging an alliance with the Congress, it would be tough for the BRS in these two districts where both Congress and Communist parties have a good base.

Congress promises

In the hugely attended public meeting in Hyderabad, the Congress party announced six guarantees, with a special focus on women voters and farmers. It promised to increase the amount released in Rythu Bharosa programme to ₹15,000 a year and bring tenant farmers under the purview of the scheme.

But, both BRS and BJP have flayed the Congress for its false promises. “The ones who don’t have a warranty are coming to the State to give guarantees,” BRS Working President and Telangana IT and Industries Minister, KT Rama Rao, said, mocking the poll promises made by the Congress.