Hyderabad, December 5: Electioneering comes to a draw in Telangana, with the state scheduled to go to polls on Friday. The electoral battle is wedged between the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the 'Mahakutami coalition' -- comprising of the Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Telangana Jan Sena (TJS) -- and the aggressive Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is aiming to make inroads into the state.
According to the press release issued by Election Commission of India, over 1,800 candidates are in the polling fray in Telangana, contesting across the 119 constituencies of the state. Telangana Assembly Elections 2018: TRS, Congress-led People Front Locked in Tough Battle.
Here are the key candidates and constituencies to watch out:
K Chandrasekhar Rao: TRS Supremo Rao, who became the first-ever Chief Minister of Telangana in 2014, is seeking re-election from his constituency of Gajwel. Considered as the tallest leader of of the state, the TRS is firm on his victory in the constituency. He is being challenged by Congress candidate Vanteru Pratap Reddy.
KT Rama Rao: The 42-year-old son of KCR is arguably the most popular leader in Telangana following the Chief Minister. In his constituency Sircilla -- from where he is seeking re-election, KTR had won with an unprecedented margin of more than 53,000 votes.
Akbaruddin Owaisi: The AIMIM firebrand leader, who boasts of being the "kingmaker" in Telangana, is contesting from the party's bastion Chandrayangutta. The Owaisi scion has been winning from the constituency consecutively since 1999.
Uttam Kumar Reddy: Arguably the tallest Congress leader in the state, Reddy is one of the prime contenders for the chief ministerial chair, if the Mahakutami comes to power in the state. The four-time MLA is contesting from Huzurnagar -- the seat which he won in 2014 by a margin of 23,924 votes.
K Laxman: The Telangana BJP chief is contesting from Musheerabad, the constituency he wrested in 2014. Laxman, who is considered a key organisational leader of the BJP in the southern state, said the party was prepared for polls in Telangana even before KCR announced the shock dissolution of the assembly. If the BJP wins, he has promised to implement National Register of Citizens (NRC) drive in Hyderabad to weed out "terrorists".
The results of Telangana assembly polls will be declared by the Election Commission on December 7, along with the outcome of elections in Rajasthan, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.