Kuppam witnesses high-octane campaign as civic polls conclude

Voters wait in a queue to cast their votes in Kuppam municipal election on Monday
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Voters wait in a queue to cast their votes in Kuppam municipal election on Monday

Highlights

Elections to the civic bodies in the State concluded amid allegations and counter allegations of the YSRCP and the TDP here on Monday.

Amaravati: Elections to the civic bodies in the State concluded amid allegations and counter allegations of the YSRCP and the TDP here on Monday. The elections witnessed not only acerbic campaigns but also charges of malpractices like attempting to cast bogus votes and failure of law and order in ensuring free and fair elections.

Kuppam witnessed a very high polling percentage and it is expected that it could cross even 80 per cent in tune with the high-voltage campaigning by both the TDP and the YSRCP. The State Election Commission (SEC) two weeks ago had issued notifications for elections to the Nellore Municipal Corporation and, Akiveedu, Jaggaiahpet, Kondapalli, Dachepalli, Gurazala, Darsi, Buchireddypalem, Kuppam, Bethamcherla, Kamalapuram, Rajampet and Penukonda municipalities and 25 wards (two in Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, 10 in six municipal corporations and 13 in 12 municipalities).

As per the notifications released by State Election Commissioner Nilam Sawhney, polling in NMC, 12 municipalities and the 25 wards will be held on November 15, for which public notices will be issued by the returning officers on November 3.

Elections were held for wards in Kakinada (4), Visakhapatnam and Eluru (2) and one each in Vizianagaram, Machilipatnam, Guntur and Anantapur municipal corporations and in two wards in Repalle and one each in Bobbili, Pithapuram, Kovvur, Nuzvid, Macherla, Addanki, Badvel, Nagari, Nandikotkur, Yemmiganur and Rayadurg municipalities.

Kuppam municipal polls drew a strong political response with the Opposition TDP and the ruling YSRCP making it a prestige issue. Kuppam, which has been Chandrababu Naidu's bastion all along, saw the ruling party making every effort to trounce the TDP candidates while the latter took on the might of the former with a high-octane campaign.

A day prior to the polling day -- Monday -- too witnessed a fresh round of allegations of 'outsiders' presence' and the TDP accused the YSRCP of 'importing' voters from Tamil Nadu to cast bogus votes. Later, the party leadership claimed that hundreds of bogus voters had been caught by the locals and handed over to the police amid police inaction.

The YSRCP squarely condemned the charges and accused the TDP of launching a vilification campaign. The police had to baton charge protesting groups in the 16th ward of Kuppam repeatedly. Even in Visakhapatnam, Jana Sena and YSRCP cadres confronted each other, it is learnt.

Both the parties were confident that the voters of Kuppam would reject the other.

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