Telangana, a peaceful state, has never experienced any pre-poll violence or skirmishes since its formation. However, with just 19 days until election day, clashes between political groups have begun, raising concerns about the law and order situation as the day approaches.
Despite having a hi-tech police force with the best command control center, clashes during nominations on Thursday and Friday have caused concern. In Ibrahimpatnam, Congress and BRS workers clashed while filing nominations on Thursday. On Friday, there was high tension at the office of the returning officer in Patancheruvu when candidates from major parties, including Congress and BJP, arrived at the same time to file nominations.
The situation became chaotic as both sides shouted slogans and staged protests on the road. The police, led by DSP Purshottam Reddy, swiftly took action to prevent any untoward incidents. Supporters of BJP ticket aspirant Rajeshwar Rao Deshpande staged a protest in front of the Returning Officer’s office, leading to clashes with supporters of P Raju from BJP. Deshpande’s supporters also vandalized the district BJP office. To control the situation, the police resorted to lathi charge and imposed section 144 in Sangareddy town.
The incident raises questions about the coordination between the police, political parties, and election authorities. With the campaign entering its final stage, there is concern about the possibility of such incidents recurring during the campaign or on polling day. The Election Commission of India may need to take serious note of these incidents and make necessary security arrangements, including deploying central forces if needed.