Poll temperature has shot up in Telangana with the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party pulling out all stops to woo voters ahead of the December 7 assembly elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi who have already addressed campaign meetings are returning to the country's youngest state on Monday to address public rallies in what is seen as a 'final push'.
Caretaker Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao has been on a vigorous campaign trail in the past few days seeking a second term for the party, and has been unsparing in his attack on Modi, Rahul and Telugu Desam Party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
The TRS is going alone in the poll to the 119-member Assembly, as also is the BJP. Campaigning ends on Wednesday.
The Congress has forged Prajakutami (People's Alliance) with the TDP, the Telangana Jana Samiti headed by professor M Kodandaram, and the Communist Party of India.
Both the BJP and the Congress have deployed senior leaders for the 'battle for Telangana'.
BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari were among those who addressed public meetings in different parts of the state on Sunday.
Shah on Sunday alleged that the caretaker CM had burdened the state with crores of rupees by opting for early polls.
Speaking at an election rally at Narayanpet in Mahbubnagar district, he also alleged that both the TRS and the Congress believed in the 'appeasement' of minorities and that All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen's Akbaruddin Owaisi had said whoever became the chief minister of the southern state would have to bow before his party.
"Telangana would have saved hundreds of crores of rupees had it opted for the Assembly polls along with the Lok Sabha election in May next year. KCR burdened the state with crores of rupees of election expenditure. Who is responsible for this? KCR was doubtful of his victory in May, fearing a (Prime Minister) Modi wave," Shah said.
He alleged that the Congress, in its manifesto for the December 7 polls, had promised "free electricity" to mosques and churches but not to temples.
The BJP chief also alleged that as part of its politics of minority appeasement, the opposition party had promised an educational aid of Rs 20 lakh to the minority students if it came to power in Telangana.
"The Congress also speaks (in its manifesto) about reservations for the minorities in government contracts. It also talks about separate hospitals for the minorities. I want to ask (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi, what would be the fate of the poor people who do not belong to the minority communities," he said.
Shah reiterated that the saffron party was not in favour of reservations based on religion as it was against the Constitution.
Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh campaigned for party candidates last week.
For the Congress, Sonia Gandhi addressed a public meeting last week. Chandrababu Naidu is also engaged in an intensive campaign for the People's Alliance.
Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Jairam Ramesh and Veerappa Moily were among those who had been drafted to guide the party campaign in Telangana.
The Congress has dubbed the TRS as a 'stooge' and a 'proxy' of the BJP, while the BJP has attacked the Chandrasekhar Rao-led party for promoting 'family rule'.
"TRS prospects are extremely bright and in fact, things are improving by the day," K T Rama Rao, TRS leader and son of the caretaker chief minister, told PTI.
He credited his party's bright prospects to the state government's 'good governance and solid combination of welfare and development, fruits of which the people have enjoyed in the last four years'.