All set for Tirupati bypoll today

Polling personnel carry EVMs to their respective booths from SV Arts College in Tirupati on Friday
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Polling personnel carry EVMs to their respective booths from SV Arts College in Tirupati on Friday

Highlights

The stage is all set for the conduct of the polling for Tirupati Parliament byelection on Saturday.

Tirupati: The stage is all set for the conduct of the polling for Tirupati Parliament byelection on Saturday.

The byelection, which is for the first time in the constituency, evoked nationwide interest with the poll turned crucial to gauge the claim of both the ruling YSRCP, which has been asserting that its government popularity is on the rise and the opposition maintaining that it is waning because of its misdeeds and non-performance in the 20 months.

In all, 2,470 polling centres have been set up in Nellore and Chittoor districts covering seven Assembly segments in the Parliament constituency for the 17.10 lakh voters to exercise their franchise while the election authorities made elaborate arrangements to ensure smooth conduct of the polling which will be held from 7 am to 7 pm in evening, two hour more than previous polling time. As many as 10,850 polling personnel were deputed while 23 companies of Central troops and three companies of special forces were also deployed in addition to the local police as part of the fool-proof arrangements being made for the byelection.

The polling personnel were handed over the poll material at the 'distribution centres' and were set out to their respective polling stations for the conduct of the polling on Saturday..

The YSRCP has involved a big contingent of ministers, MPs, MLAs and senior party leaders who in one voice asserting that the victory margin this time would be much more than in the last 2019 election which was 2.28 lakh. While the TDP made all out efforts to win the seat which it direly require to boost the morale of the party cadres disheartened by rout in local body elections.

This apart, the party wants to prove that Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy Jagan government's popularity is decreasing due to its non-performance and misdeed including rampant corruption and lawlessness in the state.

Interestingly, the BJP which got only 16,125 votes in the last election which is much less than NOTA that was 25,781 saw its electioneering went on a high pitch by involving national and state leaders including party national president JP Nadda, pinning high hopes of wresting the seat.

YSRCP is solely depending on Jagan's popularity coupled with the welfare schemes while the TDP focused on the failures and government and the saffron party on the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the development initiatives carried out in Tirupati area and in the state as part of the assurance given in AP Reorganisation Act.

The party leaders also made personal attacks on the YSRCP candidate M Gurumurthy seeking the voters to decide whether they want a person who is for Jagan seva or the one for Jana seva (public service).

Realising that the stakes are high for his party, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu along with his Nara Lokesh extensively campaigned covering all the 7 Assembly segments, adding to the tempo.

The Congress fielded its veteran Dr Chinta Mohan who made his mark in the high velocity campaign by his daring and highly critical remarks against Jagna and YSRCP, spared no efforts to win the seat.

The voters have never seen such a high voltage campaign thanks to the three parties, YSRCP, TDP and BJP, with high stakes running the campaign on a massive scale, unmindful of the mounting Covid cases particularly in Tirupati.

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