70% voting in Kadapa; 81% in Pulivendula

HYDERABAD: About 70 percent of the electors cast their votes in the Kadapa Lok Sabha and 81 percent in the Pulivendula assembly constituencies in Andhra Pradesh Sunday. Barring minor incidents, voting was peaceful, officials said.

Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency recorded 69.5 percent turnout while it was 81 percent in Pulivendula, one of the seven assembly segments of the Kadapa parliamentary constituency.

The polling was 70.59 percent in Mydukuru, 63.22 in Kamalapuram, 67.28 in Kadapa, 80.18 in Badwell, 65.3 in Jammalamadugu and 70.3 percent in Produttur assembly segments of Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency which has 1,328,869 voters, including 189,000 in Pulivendula.

State Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwarlal told reporters that the polling was smooth and peaceful, barring minor incidents of clash between supporters of three main parties and an attack on a vehicle of Telugu television channel Sakshi.

He said re-polling will be held in 108 booths in Kadapa where voting was affected due to technical problems in the electronic voting machines (EVMs).

The results will be out May 13. The outcome will be crucial for the political future of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, who recently floated the YSR Congress Party after quitting the Congress.

Jagan, as the young leader is popularly known, is confident of retaining the parliamentary constituency, while his mother Y.S. Vijayalaxmi appears set to win in the Pulivendula assembly constituency in their family stronghold.

Enthusiasm among voters, especially among women, marked the polling, the first after the death of Jagan’s father in September 2009. Vijayalaxmi was elected unopposed in the by-election in December the same year.

This was also the first election after the split in the family of the late chief minister. His brother Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy contested as the Congress candidate against Vijayalaxmi.

Braving the scorching heat, voters in Kadapa cast their ballots in the by-election, seen as a triangular contest among the YSR Congress, the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

In Kadapa, Jaganmohan Reddy, Ravindra Reddy of the Congress and M.V. Mysoora Reddy of TDP were the key candidates.

In Pulivendula, Vijayalaxmi was also locked in a triangular contest against her brother-in-law Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy of the Congress and B. Tech Ravi of the TDP.

In Pulivendula, one of the seven assembly segments of the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, more than 70 percent of the 189,000 voters cast their ballot.

Polling was brisk as long queues were seen in a majority of the 1,512 polling centres.

Some 11,100 personnel from state police and central paramilitary forces were deployed.

Election authorities had deployed 7,779 polling personnel. The polling process was webcast live.

All the three parties traded charges of rigging and lodged complaints with the election authorities. The chief electoral officer said a decision on the re-polling in some booths would be taken after a probe.

Jagan alleged that Congress candidate for Kadapa and state Health Minister D.L. Ravindra Reddy attacked YSR Congress Party’s polling agents.

He alleged Ravindra Reddy’s supporters also attacked a van of Sakshi channel. A reporter was injured in the attack at Sunkesula village in Mydukuru assembly segment. The channel is owned by Jagan.

A total of 42 candidates were in the fray in Kadapa while 25 candidates were testing their fortunes in Pulivendula.

The by-elections were caused by the resignation of Jagan and his mother Vijayalaxmi as MP and legislator, respectively, in November last year.

Jagan broke away from the Congress after months of dissidence following his father death in a chopper crash in 2009.(IANS)

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