Microphones fell silent and rallies ended as the longest campaigning period for the assembly elections among the five states going to polls came to a close in Telangana at 5 pm on Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj said, “It is 5 pm and the. silent period has started. There are various restrictions that are put in place by the Election Commission of India. In the last 48 hours, basically tranquil period given to the voters to mull over things and come to a conclusion.”
The model code of conduct came into force in the state after the Elections Commission announced the schedule on October 9. There are 3.26 crore eligible voters in the state.
According to CEO, prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC have been promulgated across the state. BRS has fielded candidates in all 119 seats. As per the seat sharing agreement, BJP and Jana Sena are contesting in 111 and 8 seats respectively while Congress gave one seat to its ally CPI(M). Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM has put up candidates in nine segments in the city. The BRS is trying to retain power for a third consecutive term, while the Congress has been fighting tooth and nail to wrest power from it. The BJP has left no stone unturned to get to power. As many as 2,290 contestants are in the fray for the upcoming elections, including BRS supremo and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, his minister-son K T Rama Rao, TPCC president A Revanth Reddy and BJP Lok Sabha members Bandi Sanjay Kumar, D Arvind and Soyam Bapu Rao.
KCR is contesting from two segments-Gajwel and Kamareddy- and so is Revanth Reddy from Kodangal and Kamareddy. The BJP fielded its MLA, Etala Rajender, from Gajwel, besides Huzurabad, where he is the incumbent legislator.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed several meetings during the campaign period, besides holding a roadshow in Hyderabad on Monday amid huge fanfare while KCR attended 96 poll rallies.
Other than PM Modi, several union ministers including Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, and Congress leaders Mallikrajun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi canvassed for votes for their respective party candidates.
The BRS campaign centred around the previous Congress regime’s failures and ongoing welfare measures for farmers and women. Rao also highlighted his struggle to achieve Telangana statehood.
Congress focussed mainly on the alleged corruption of the BRS government while highlighting its “six guarantees”.
The saffron party’s campaign stressed on the necessity of “double engine government” and pointed to “family rule” of KCR and alleged corruption.
Much to the embarrassment of the ruling KCR government, the National dam Safety authority gave an adverse report on the sinking of a barrage which is part of Kaleshwaram irrigation project, which has provided ammo to the opposition.
More than 2.5 lakh staff will be engaged in poll duties for the assembly elections, Chief Electoral officer Vikas Raj has said.
The counting of votes will be taken up on December 3.
For the first time in Telangana, “home voting facility was provided to the persons with disabilities and voters above 80 years.
As on November 28, law enforcement agencies have seized cash, gold, liquor, freebies among others all worth about Rs 737 crore in the state ever since the model code of conduct came into force in the state on October 9, an official release said.
The EC has ordered all private establishments including IT firm to declare holiday on November 30 to enable employees to exercise their franchise.