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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Leaders threaten to send rivals to jail as Telangana row ends

Prasad Nichenametla , Hindustan Times  Hyderabad, April 29, 2014
First Published: 00:38 IST(29/4/2014) | Last Updated: 11:20 IST(29/4/2014)

Going by the theme of the poll campaign in Telangana, which ended on Monday evening —two days before the region goes to the polls on April 30 —the winners will go to the assembly and the losers to jail.

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In the charged atmosphere, especially in the wake of the imminent bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, politicians have hurled allegations of massive corruption against each other and promised to send rivals to prison as soon as their party forms the government in India’s newest state.

TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao accused TDP president Chandrababu Naidu of being corrupt, saying he would send Naidu to jail after probing his alleged corrupt activities.  On Sunday, Naidu retaliated by saying he would keep KCR and his family in prison forever, alleging that they were extortionists in the garb of Telangana agitators.

KCR and Telangana Congress chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah also exchanged similar pleasantries.

These leaders often behaved like schoolboys calling each other names, making for great entertainment to people at election rallies.

Seventeen Lok Sabha seats and 119 assembly seats are up for grabs as voters seem undecided or split over whom to credit for bringing about statehood to Telangana.

Both the Congress, which got the Telangana bill passed in Parliament, and the TRS, which has been leading the statehood movement for more than a decade have been claiming support from voters in the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi have addressed several rallies in the region, explaining how they surmounted difficulties in making Telangana a reality.

Sonia went to the extent of saying at her rally on Sunday that her party would suffer losses in the Seemandhra region because of the UPA government’s decision to carve out Telangana.

However, the TRS appears to have a slight edge over the Congress when it comes to the voter’s perception of whom to credit for separate statehood.


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