After polls, politicos tide over tension with pleasure tripsApril 20th, 2009 - 11:48 am ICT by IANS
By Mohammed Shafeeq
Hyderabad, April 20 (IANS) It will be a long and arduous wait for results for those who tested their political fortunes in the first phase of assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh last Thursday. And many are taking the opportunity to take off on pleasure trips to Manali or other hill stations and even abroad.
With the voters’ choice stored in electronic voting machines (EVM), 2,148 candidates will have to wait for a month to know their fate May 16, and with no wave in favour of any party and no clear winner predicted, the candidates are on tenterhooks and working out plans to unwind before the D-day.
Polling for 22 Lok Sabha constituencies and 154 assembly segments was held in the first phase Thursday. About 70 percent of 31.2 million voters cast their votes, sealing the fate of 315 candidates for Lok Sabha and 1,833 candidates for assembly elections.
The candidates for the second phase - April 23 - will have to wait slightly less.
After the gruelling campaign in the heat and dust over the last few weeks, majority of the candidates of the first phase are either unwinding with their family or planning holidays and pilgrimage trips.
While some candidates are heading for hill stations in India, others are planning trips abroad. There are still others who will be visiting shrines to pray for their success.
However, they will have to wait at least till the second phase of elections gets over April 23.
Going all out for the second and final phase, the ruling Congress, main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party have drawn in their prominent candidates for the campaigning.
As soon as the first phase was over, the candidates spent time with their family but the next day most of them packed their bags for campaigning for the second phase.
PRP leader T. Devender Goud, who contested for Malkajgiri Lok Sabha and Ibrahimpatnam assembly seats, headed for coastal Andhra to campaign. He has plans to visit Tirupati to seek divine blessings. There are others who plan to visit Shirdi and other pilgrimage centres to pray for their success.
Sudish Rambhotla, the TDP candidate for Secunderabad Lok Sabha, is planning a trip to Singapore or Switzerland after the second phase. “I had to put my trip on hold as the party wanted me to campaign,” he said.
Actress Jayasudha, who contested from Secunderabad Cantonment assembly constituency on a Congress ticket, will be taking off to Singapore.
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy is planning a holiday trip along with his family members. After the 2004 elections, he along with his family members had gone to Ooty to unwind.
TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and actor Chiranjeevi are also likely to head for holiday trips. The campaigning in the scorching sun has already taken its toll on all the three leading campaigners for their respective parties.
(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at email@example.com)
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