Campaigning for first phase ends in AP
The high-decibel campaign for the first phase of simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and assembly in Andhra Pradesh, to be held on April 20, ended this evening.
Leaders of major political parties criss-crossed the state as the deadline of 5pm approached.
The electioneering turned into a battle of wits with the main contenders, TDP and Congress, resorting to personal attacks and hurling mutual charges of `cash-for-tickets'.
The coming elections are billed as the toughest ever challenge for the longest-serving Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, the star campaigner for TDP, seeking an electoral hat-trick, while it is a do-or-die battle for the main opposition Congress which has, for the first time, forged an alliance with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Over 2.73 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the first phase of polling for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly constituencies covering the naxalite-affected Telangana and north coastal Andhra regions, besides the state capital.
Union Ministers B Dattatreya, Ch Vidyasagar Rao, TDP leader in the dissolved Parliament K Yerran Naidu, TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao, AICC Spokesman S Jaipal Reddy, state Home Minister T Devender Goud are among the prominent leaders whose fate will be decided in the first phase of polling.