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AP campaign hots up

The poll campaign for the second phase of elections slated for April 26, has acquired a new element of stridency in the backdrop of exit polls showing an anti-incumbency mood in the state.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Hyderabad
UPDATED ON APR 24, 2004 09:30 PM IST

The poll campaign for the second phase of elections in Andhra Pradesh, slated for April 26, has acquired a new element of stridency in the backdrop of exit polls for the first phase indicating an undercurrent of anti-incumbency mood against ruling TDP which is seeking an electoral hat-trick.

Braving adverse poll predictions, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, the star campaigner for TDP, has got into a more aggressive mode attacking the opposition Congress-TRS alliance and making an all-out bid for a third term in office.

Racing against time, Naidu has been heli-hopping to cover as much ground as possible in south coastal belt, his party's traditional stronghold, and addressing a string of election rallies where he asked voters to chose between development and anarchy, between integrated state and a divided one and between peace and 'gun culture'.

While Congress camp is in an upbeat mood in the wake of opinion polls projecting an edge for the Opposition alliance, the TDP has questioned the efficacy of exit polls and claimed that it enjoyed continued public support on development plank.

Raising the campaign pitch, Naidu has been attacking Congress for its 'double standards' on the issues of Telangana statehood and naxalism and accusing it of joining hands with extremists and forces of destruction.

The second phase of polling is to be held for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly constituencies spread over politically-volatile south coastal belt and faction-ridden Rayalaseema regions.

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