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All set for by-poll in Avanigadda today

Highlights

The election authorities are all set for the conduct of by-election to the Avanigadda Assembly segment on Wednesday. Although the APNGOs and employees of the revenue departments have been on an indefinite strike against the bifurcation of the State, they have exempted election work from the stir upon request. The teachers involved in the elections would be joining the Seemandhra strike upon completion of the by-poll.

D Gopi

Avanigadda (Krishna): The election authorities are all set for the conduct of by-election to the Avanigadda Assembly segment on Wednesday. Although the APNGOs and employees of the revenue departments have been on an indefinite strike against the bifurcation of the State, they have exempted election work from the stir upon request. The teachers involved in the elections would be joining the Seemandhra strike upon completion of the by-poll.
The by-election was caused by the death of sitting Telugu Desam legislator Ambati Brahmanaiah on April 21 this year, following prolonged illness. The TDP had tried to make the by-election unanimous, but failed as two independent candidates are in the fray. The ruling Congress and the YSR Congress have left the seat to Brahmanaiah’s family.
The poll campaign was rather dull as political parties are busy with the Samaikyandhra movement and many people too are supporting the strike. However, the TDP had a tough time in leading the campaign with the strike on the one hand and non-availability of party senior leaders for the public meeting on the other. Most of the district leaders too could not spare time for electioneering, having left it to Ambati’s family, particularly his son, Srihariprasad, who is testing his mettle against the two independent candidates. The constituency has 1,87,200 voters -- 93,893 women and 93,307 male voters, who would cast their votes in 241 polling stations. As many as 265 polling officers and an equal number of assistant polling officers, apart from 530-strong polling staff, would be on duty on Wednesday. The constituency, formed in 1967, has witnessed 12 elections so far and this would be the second by-election. The first by-election was held in 1985.
The election officials initially had a tough time in getting budgeted funds for the polls as the treasury officials have been on an indefinite strike. However, the district officials convinced the striking treasury officials and the APNGOs to take a break and clear the budget file, following which the treasury officers cleared the Rs 55 lakh budget for the August 21 by-election. The district police, led by the Superintendent of Police J Prabhakara Rao, have made elaborate security arrangements for the by-polls. The police have posted additional staff to prevent any untoward incident during voting. The officials have also closed all roads leading to the Avanigadda segment to prevent the entry of outsiders.

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