Keen tussle on cards Post split, AP to witness Assembly polls today

Keen tussle on cards Post split, AP to witness Assembly polls todayElection officials leave for poll duty from a distribution centre at IGMC stadium in Vijayawada on Wednesday, a day before the first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections

Andhra Pradesh will vote for all the 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies simultaneously on Thursday.

Amravati: Andhra Pradesh will vote for all the 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies simultaneously on Thursday. The state is witnessing a fierce contest between the TDP, which came to power in 2014, and the main Opposition YSRCP, fighting a now-or-never battle for power. Though the BJP, Congress and Jana Sena are also in the fray, they are likely to be more of side players.

This time most of the faction-ridden villages of Rayalaseema are gripped with tension more than previous years due to keen contest that is taking place between the TDP and YSRCP. Already several stray incidents of violence have been reported from these places.

In Krishna and Guntur districts also certain incidents of clashes have been witnessed despite the authorities claiming that they would ensure free and fair poll. All political parties are racing against time to exercise their money power. Despite police claiming to have cast a hawk eye, distribution of money has been on unabated.

It may be mentioned here that in Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district, violent incidents leading to police opening fire took place in 2014. In view of this, a tight police bandobust has been made. Five constituencies in Kadapa are being seen as highly sensitive areas.

In Rayalaseema alone, the police have identified 740 sensitive polling stations against the total number of 3,805 polling stations across the district. The activists of major parties like the TDP and YSRCP were attacking each other especially during the distribution of cash to voters. Since a few days, this kind of incidents have been taking place at Banaganapalle, Allagadda, Pathikonda, Alur and Mantralayam.

As the clock ticks towards 7 am, when the polling would begin, the followers of the contesting candidates appear to be in a competitive spirit to lure voters with cash which is said to be ranging between Rs 2000 to Rs 4000.

Special police forces have been deployed in all extremists-affected and critical polling stations across the district. A total of 28 extremists-affected and another 855 sensitive polling stations have been identified in the district out of total 2910 polling stations.

In Palakonda Assembly segment limits in Sitampeta mandal, in Mandasa mandal in Palasa segment and in Nandigama mandal in Tekkali Assembly segment, several villages have no phone facility. For effective communication, authorities have supplied wireless sets and walky-talkies, the District Collector said.

Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu is contesting from the Kuppam constituency in Chittoor district. He is contesting for the seventh time from this constituency. YSRCP president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is contesting for the second time from the Pulivendula Assembly segment in Kadapa district. Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan is trying his luck from Gajuwaka in Visakhapatnam and Bhimavaram of West Godavari district.

Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao has locked horns with YSRCP leader Ambati Rambabu in Sattenapalli of Guntur district. Deputy Speaker Mandali Buddha Prasad is contesting from the Avanigadda segment of Krishna district.

All eyes are on the Mangalagiri constituency as son of the Chief Minister and IT Minister Nara Lokesh is contesting from this Assembly constituency in Guntur district. Keen battle is on cards as he is contesting against sitting MLA and YSRCP leader Alla Rama Krishna Reddy.

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