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TDP redraws 2nd phase campaign strategies

With exit polls suggesting an anti-incumbency mood in Andhra, the TDP is making mid-course corrections.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Hyderabad
PUBLISHED ON APR 22, 2004 12:33 PM IST

With exit polls for the first phase of polling in Andhra Pradesh suggesting an undercurrent of anti-incumbency mood, the ruling TDP is making mid-course corrections in its campaign strategies in a bid to regain the ground from an upbeat Opposition as the state braces for second phase of polling, slated for April 26, covering south coastal belt and Rayalaseema regions.

The Telangana statehood and naxalism, which formed key poll issues in the first phase of elections, have taken a backseat now with TDP-BJP combine, rattled by adverse opinion polls, getting into a more aggressive mode warning people that a vote for the Opposition Congress would be a 'recipe for disaster'.

While Congress is focussing its campaign on plight of farmers, neglect of agriculture, irrigation, rural employment sectors and power tariff hikes, the ruling party is highlighting achievements of its government in the last nine years and contrasting it with the 'era of political instability and scams' in the previous Congress regimes.

The second phase polls, covering 21 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats and 147 out of 294 Assembly constituencies, will also see straight contests as Congress, which had a formidable ally in Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the first phase, is to slug it out on its own strength.

The Congress' left allies CPI and CPI (M) have only marginal presence in the politically-volatile south coast and faction-ridden Rayalaseema regions.

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