Fall in Nizamabad poll percentage worries DS

The electoral fortunes of the Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr D. Srinivas, wavered on Wednesday with the Election Commission declaring that the final poll percentage of Nizamabad was 45 and not 51.72 as first assumed.

The low voter turnout of 39.5 per cent proved costly for Mr Srinivas in the 2009 elections. The initial figures put out on Tuesday indicated that the PCC chief was able to mobilise minorities in his favour. But with the poll percentage being pegged at 45, there are fears that he may not romp home.

However, analysts felt that the PCC chief still had a fair chance since there was no minority candidate opposing him. “Minorities who supported the Praja Rajyam candidate in the general elections plumped for Mr Srinivas and this will make lot of difference,” said a leader.

In 2009, a strong section of minority leaders affiliated to the Congress pulled strings to field a minority candidate in the PR ticket mainly to spoil Mr Srinivas’ chances. But this time, they were all working for the PCC president.

Significantly there were divergent views on the low turnout too. While one section of leaders felt that it would favour Mr Srinivas, others suspect that it indicated the apathetic mood of minority voters.

Mr Srinivas’s aides, for instance, claimed that around their leader got 30,000 minority votes. The BJP was confident that its sitting MLA, Mr Lakshminarayana, would win again thanks to the strong Telangana sentiment. The BJP and TRS fought elections together and the TRS president, Mr K. Chandrasekhar Rao, campaigned for the BJP candidate.

Meanwhile, the Chief Electoral Officer, Dr I.V. Subba Rao, said that counting would begin at 8 am on Friday.

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