Poll battle begins

Poll battle begins

AP to witness direct fight between YSRCP & NDA

The process rolls

•175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats will go to polls on May 13

• Last date to file nominations is April 25, scrutiny on April 26

•Candidates can withdraw nominations by April 29

• Polling in all Assembly constituencies, except six, will be held from 7 am to 6 pm

•Sensitive constituencies of Palakonda, Kurupam and Salur will conclude at 5 pm

• Araku, Paderu and Rampachodavaram will end at 4 pm

Vijayawada: AndhraPradesh will see a direct electoral fight between the ruling YSRCP and the TDP-JSP-BJP alliance for simultaneous elections to the state Assembly and Lok Sabha, the notification for which was issued by the Election Commission of India on Thursday.

Polling for all 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats will be held on May 13. The process for filing nominations began with the issue of poll notification on Thursday. The election authorities will receive nominations till April 25. The scrutiny of nominations will be taken up the next day while the candidates can withdraw nominations till April 29.

Polling in all Assembly constituencies, except six, will be held from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. In three segments (Palakonda, Kurupam and Salur) in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas, the polling will conclude at 5 p.m. and in three other segments (Araku, Paderu and Rampachodavaram) the polling will end at 4 p.m.

Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena said all arrangements have been made to receive nominations at the offices of all returning offices from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on all days except public holidays. Over 4.08 crore, more than half of them women, are eligible to cast their votes.

The Election Commisison has appointed 50 general observers, 18 police observers, 25 expenditure observers for parliamentary constituencies and 50 expenditure observers for assembly constituencies.

The Election commission provided postal ballot facility for persons employed in essential services, senior citizens above 85 years of age, persons with disability and Covid affected people. The casting of postal ballot at facilitation centre for polling personnel starts on May 5 and ends on May 10. The casting of postal ballot at facilitation centre for drivers, cleaners and videographers will commence on May 5 and ends on May 10. The postal voting centre will function from May 5 to 10.

According to the CEO, 3,30,000 staff were deployed for polling duties including 10,134 police personnel. Officials identified 12,459 polling stations as critical polling stations and webcasting is planned to take up in approximately 30,111 polling stations.

The poll notification has set the stage for a direct fight between the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and NDA comprising Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Jana Sena Party (JSP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

After a decade, the three parties have come together to take on YSRCP. The ruling party is confident of retaining power while the tripartite alliance is determined to deny it another term.

The Congress party, which drew a blank in Assembly and Lok Sabha polls in the state -- both in 2014 and 2019 -- is also hoping to revive its fortunes. With Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s sister YS Sharmila taking over the reins of the state unit of the Congress party, it is looking to improve its prospects.

In 2019, the YSRCP had wrested power from TDP by bagging 151 Assembly seats. The TDP won 23 seats while JSP secured one. The YSRCP had also captured 22 Lok Sabha seats with the TDP bagging the remaining three. The TDP, JSP and BJP have joined hands this time to avoid a split of anti-incumbency votes. Under the seat-sharing agreement, TDP is contesting 144 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha seats. The JSP has fielded candidates in 21 Assembly segments and two Lok Sabha constituencies. The BJP is contesting 10 Assembly and six Lok Sabha seats.

The CEO said the total seizures including cash, liquor, drugs, precious metal, freebies and other items stands at Rs 12,191.05 lakh. He said 1,017 volunteers were removed for violation of model code of conduct and disciplinary taken on 127 regular employees. The number of cases filed on political parties for violation of model code of conduct, including TDP-126, YSRCP-136 and others 76. On the first day of nominations on Thursday, 39 candidates filed papers in various Lok Sabha constituencies and 190 candidates for assembly constituencies across the state.

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