The upcoming bypoll to Warangal (SC) Lok Sabha seat in Telangana is being seen as a first major test of popularity of the ruling TRS and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao after last year's Assembly elections.
The bye-election, scheduled to be held on November 21, would witness a multi-cornered contest with TRS nominee Pasunoori Dayakar, Congress candidate and former Union Minister Sarve Satyanarayana, NDA's P Devaiah, a US-based medical professional, Nalla Suryaprakash of YSR Congress and the Left-sponsored Gali Vinod Kumar in fray.
Aiming to retain the seat, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has appointed state ministers as in-charges of different Assembly segments.
Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari, whose resignation necessitated the bypoll, has been campaigning extensively for the victory of the TRS candidate.
Srihari exuded confidence that the party nominee would win with a massive margin on the back of welfare and development programmes implemented by the state government.
TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao would campaign for the by-election later this month.
The Congress suffered a setback with a fire tragedy in the house of its candidate Sircilla Rajaiah in which his daughter-in-law and three grandsons were charred to death, on the last day of filing of nominations.
Rajaiah, his wife and son were subsequently arrested and the incident forced Congress to replace Rajaiah with Sarve Satyanarayana.
"This is definitely a setback," Telangana Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy admitted last week after the incident at Rajaiah's house.
The name of Rajaiah was announced after AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh held talks with party leaders and workers from Warangal district.
The Congress had sought to salvage itself by winning the bypoll in the wake of the drubbing it suffered in last year's elections.
Congress MLC P Sudhakar Reddy has alleged that the TRS government's failure to reach out to the distressed farmers in Telangana would go against the ruling party.
He slammed the TRS government for allegedly foisting cases against farmers for their protest regarding not getting MSP for cotton.
Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy and party floor leader in the Legislative Assembly K Laxman met TDP Chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu yesterday to chalk out the TDP-BJP's poll strategy.
The victory of BJP candidate in the bypoll would boost the development of Warangal with the NDA being in power at the Centre, the TDP-BJP leaders averred.
Meanwhile, the YSR Congress has announced that its president YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is the Opposition leader in Andhra Pradesh Assembly, would campaign in Warangal for the party candidate.
The Left parties have extended support to an independent, who is a prominent personality.
More than 15 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the by-election, and the counting of votes would be taken up on November 24.