Wednesday December 19, 2018
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No respite from heat wave, toll crosses 2,200 In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

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Hyderabad: There was no respite from intense heat wave in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on Sunday as 45 more deaths were reported from the two Telugu states, taking the toll to over 2,200.

While 25 people died in Andhra Pradesh, 20 succumbed to sunstroke in Telangana.

The officials till Saturday night had confirmed 2,177 deaths in the two states. While Andhra Pradesh accounted for 1,636 deaths, 541 died in Telangana during last two weeks.

Hyderabad Meteorological Centre has warned that the heat may continue for two to three days in both the states.

The Met officials attributed the continuing high temperatures to the delay in arrival of monsoon.

The monsoon was expected to arrive in Kerala on May 30 but the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has now said that there could be delay of four to five days.

All 10 districts of Telangana and four districts of south coastal Andhra Pradesh are recording high temperatures.

Hanamkonda in Telangana was the hottest place on Sunday with maximum temperature of 47 degrees Celsius. It was 45 degrees in Nalgonda, Ramagundam and Khammam while Hyderabad recorded 41 degrees.

Isolated rains over last two days have not brought down the temperatures, which remained above 40 degrees across Telangana.

Jangamaheshwarapuram in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh sizzled at 47 degrees Celsius. Other places in south coastal Andhra recorded maximum temperature between 41 and 44 degrees. (IANS)

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Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi Among Top Names To Start Telangana Campaign

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Top Congress and BJP leaders, Narendra Modi and Rahul gandhi are all set to plunge into the electioneering in Telangana for the next month’s Assembly polls even as the ruling TRS has had a head start.

With the deadline for withdrawal of nominations coming to an end on Thursday, all major contenders were finalising their schedules for their star campaigners.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu, several central ministers and top leaders of the two national parties were set to hit the campaign trail.

Sonia Gandhi will be addressing an election meeting at Medchal on the outskirts here on November 23. The meet was expected to give a headstart to the party’s campaign as it heads a four-party ‘Mahakutami’ or grand alliance ahead of the single phase December 7 polls.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will share the stage with his mother on Friday at the meet.

As this is Sonia Gandhi’s first visit to Telangana after the formation of the state, the party leaders were holding it as a thanksgiving event in her honour for carving out the state.

Rahul Gandhi will again visit Telangana on November 28 and 29 and later on December 3 to address a series of rallies in different parts of the state.

"He can throw up a serious challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019," the Sena cautioned in an editorial in the party mouthpieces "Saamana" and "Dopahar Ka Saamana".
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Modi was expected to give boost to the Bharatiya Janata Party campaign by addressing a few rallies on November 27 and December 3. State BJP leaders say Modi may participate in the campaign in four districts, including here, covering the constituencies where the party is considered strong.

BJP chief Amit Shah, who addressed a couple of public meetings during September and October, plans to visit Telangana for three days soon to address 12 rallies.

Party’s Telangana unit president K. Laxman said Amit Shah will address the meetings on November 25, 27 and 28.

BJP is contesting all 119 seats on its own. Several union ministers are also likely to campaign for the party candidates. Health Minister J.P. Nadda and party general secretary Ram Madhav have already addressed a few meetings.

In his first-ever election in alliance with Congress party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is likely to address a few rallies. Party leaders say he may share the dais with Rahul Gandhi.

TDP, a constituent of ‘Mahakutami’ is contesting on 14 seats. Popular actor and TDP MLA N. Balakrishna may also address a few meetings, especially in Kukatpally constituency here, where his niece N. Suhasini is a candidate.

Suhasini is the granddaughter of TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao. Her actor brothers Junior NTR and Kalyan Ram are also likely to campaign for her.

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Modi, Rahul among top names to start Telangana campaign.

Meanwhile, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is racing ahead in the campaign with party president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao addressing series of rallies. He is criss-crossing the state in a helicopter, seeking fresh mandate.

KCR, who had already addressed few meetings after dissolving the state assembly in September, plans to address 90 meetings in 15 days.

KCR’s son K.T. Rama Rao is another key campaigner for the party. He has hit campaign trail here and in surrounding districts, focusing on constituencies with sizeable number of voters who have their roots in Andhra Pradesh.

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Besides, KCR’s daughter and party MP K. Kavitha and nephew Harish Rao were the other key campaigners for the party.

The campaign of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) is being led by its president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi. He is addressing public meetings and conducting foot march for his party’s candidates in the eight constituencies here. (IANS)