Voters to decide fate of 2,841 LS, Assembly candidates in AP

About 5.26 lakh personnel, including security forces personnel, have been deployed as part of the elaborate arrangements to ensure peaceful and smooth conduct of the polling process….reports Asian Lite News

Over 4.14 crore voters in Andhra Pradesh will decide the political fortunes of 2,841 candidates in polling for simultaneous elections to the state Assembly and Lok Sabha on Monday.

Chief Minister and YSR Congress Party President Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, and Jana Sena Party (JSP) leader and actor Pawan Kalyan are among 2,387 candidates in the fray for 175 Assembly seats.

For 25 Lok Sabha, there are a total of 454 contestants and prominent among them are state BJP chief and TDP founder and former Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao’s daughter D. Purandeswari (Rajahmundry), state Congress President Y.S. Sharmila Reddy (Kadapa), and former Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy (BJP, Rajampet).

About 5.26 lakh personnel, including security forces personnel, have been deployed as part of the elaborate arrangements to ensure peaceful and smooth conduct of the polling process.

According to Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena, polling in 169 Assembly segments will be held from 7 a.m. to 6 pm. In the Left-Wing Extremist (LWE) affected segments of Araku, Paderu, and Rampachodavaram, the polling will conclude at 4 p.m. and in three other LWE-affected segments of Palakonda, Kurupam, and Salur, it will conclude at 5 p.m.

All the six segments are in north Andhra, adjoining Odisha.

As per the final electoral roll, the state has 4,14,01,887 voters, with women (2,10,58,615) outnumbering men (2,03,39,851). The remaining 3,421 belong to the third gender. The state has 68,185 service electors.

More than 4.44 lakh employees on poll duty have cast their votes in Assembly and Lok Sabha polls at Voter Facilitation Centres (VFCs) across the state. A total of 4,44,216 postal ballots were polled in 25 Lok Sabha constituencies while 4,44,218 ballots were polled in 175 Assembly segments.

In the 2019 elections, the state had recorded 79.84 per cent polling. Officials expect that this time, it is likely to go up to 83 per cent.

The CEO said 46,389 polling centres have been set up across the state, and 12,438 of them have been declared sensitive. The poll authorities have made arrangements for webcasting of polling processing in 34,651 polling stations.

There will be 100 per cent webcasting in 14 Assembly segments.

A total of 1.6 lakh Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have been deployed. The CEO said 3.30 lakh employees will be on polling duty. In addition, 10,000 sector officers, 8,961 micro-observers and 46,165 booth-level officers will be on duty.

As part of the security arrangements, 1.14 lakh police personnel will be on duty. As many as 295 companies of central forces are also deployed.

Among Lok Sabha constituencies, Visakhapatnam has the largest number of candidates, at 33. There are 31 candidates in Nandyal and 30 in Guntur. There are only 12 candidates in the Rajahmundry Lok Sabha constituency.

Among Assembly segments, Tirupati has the maximum number of candidates, at 46, followed by 40 in Mangalagiri. There are only six candidates in Chodavaram.

The state is witnessing a direct fight between the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and the NDA, which comprises the TDP, the Jana Sena and the BJP. In 2019, the YSRCP wrested power from the TDP by bagging 151 Assembly seats. The TDP won 23 seats while Jana Sena Party (JSP) secured one. The YSRCP had also won 22 Lok Sabha seats with the TDP bagging the remaining three. The TDP, the JSP and the BJP have joined hands this time to take on the YSRCP.

Under the seat-sharing agreement, the TDP is contesting 144 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha seats, and the JSP 21 Assembly segments and two Lok Sabha constituencies. The BJP is contesting 10 Assembly and six Lok Sabha seats.

The Congress has fielded candidates in 159 Assembly and 23 Lok Sabha constituencies and left the remaining seats for allies CPI and CPI-M.

Among the prominent candidates, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy is seeking re-election from the Pulivendula Assembly seat in his home district of Kadapa while Chandrababu Naidu is fighting for another term from Kuppam in Chittoor district. Pawan Kalyan, who had lost both the seats he contested in 2019, is testing his fortunes this time from Pithapuram in Kakinada district.

Naidu’s brother-in-law and popular actor N. Balakrishna is seeking re-election for Assembly from Hindupur. Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh is trying his luck in Mangalagiri, where he was defeated in 2019.

Jagan Mohan Reddy’s sister and state Congress chief Sharmila Reddy is taking on her cousin and sitting MP Y.S. Avinash Reddy in the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat. The CM’s close aide and YSRCP parliamentary party leader V. Vijayasai Reddy is contesting the Nellore Lok Sabha seat.

NRI medical professional Pemmasani Chandra Sekhar, who is the richest candidate with family assets of more than Rs 5,705 crore, is contesting from the Guntur Lok Sabha seat on a TDP ticket.

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