The voters, including 1.37 crore women, will decide the political fate of 1,669 candidates contesting for 119 Assembly seats in the region, as also 265 candidates for 17 Lok Sabha seats.
     
Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Telugu Desam Party-Bharatiya Janata Party combine are the main contenders for power in what will be the 29th state of Indian Union.
     
Though there are other players like YSR Congress, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Lok Satta Party, CPI and CPM in the fray, they have little at stake in the elections.
     
The electoral battle between the main contenders is so intense that picking a ‘favourite’ is no easy task.
     
The general elections will be a close contest between the TRS and the Congress while the TDP-BJP combine is also expected to make certain gains.
     
More than anyone else, the elections are highly critical for the TRS as it will be a ‘now-or-never’ chance for it to realize its ultimate target of achieving power in the new state.
     
Prominent among those seeking election to Lok Sabha are Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy, TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, his daughter Kavitha, Lok Satta Party president N Jayaprakash Narayan, former DGP V Dinesh Reddy, former IAS officer M Chaya Ratan, CPI state secretary K Narayana and Majlis chief Asaduddin Owaisi.
     
The TRS head, whose ultimate dream is becoming the first Chief Minister of Telangana state, is also contesting the Assembly election (from Gajwel) while other aspirants like C Damodara Rajanarasimha (former Deputy CM), J Geeta Reddy (former minister) and a host of others too are in the fray.
    
It will certainly not be a cakewalk for the TRS in the elections to the new state Assembly as its clout is largely restricted to only some of the ten districts in the region and also the fact that it is fighting the elections on its own.

(Agencies)

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