Sirisha, popularly known as Barrelakka, emerged as a significant independent candidate in the Kollapur constituency during the Telangana Assembly elections. Gaining widespread attention and social media virality, she became a young sensation across Telangana, drawing support from various sections of society. Her campaign, symbolized by Eela, particularly resonated with local youth, addressing unemployment and local issues.

Security Concerns: The campaign trail for Barrelakka witnessed several security threats. Her brother, actively campaigning, was attacked and received threatening calls, prompting concerns over the safety of her campaign team. Allegations surfaced about interference and threats from other party candidates, heightening the need for security measures.

High Court’s Orders: Responding to these concerns, Barrelakka approached the High Court, seeking protection for her and her campaign. The court, acknowledging the legitimacy of these concerns, issued significant orders. It mandated the provision of security to Barrelakka until the election process concludes, including during public meetings and with personal security assistance.

Key Court Commentary: The High Court made noteworthy comments regarding election security, emphasizing the need to extend protection not just to recognized parties but to any candidate facing security threats. This stance places a responsibility on the Election Commission to ensure the safety of all candidates, irrespective of their party affiliation or independent status.

Political Landscape: Barrelakka’s candidacy has influenced the political dynamics in Telangana, with pre-poll surveys indicating shifts in voter preferences. Her campaign, targeting various sections including BC votes, has introduced new competition in areas like Gajwel and Warangal. This development coincides with Prime Minister Modi’s critiques of local political spending and the performance of major parties like the Congress and BRS in the region. Credit: M R