All set for counting in Andhra Pradesh by-polls

May 31st, 2008 - 9:16 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, May 31 (IANS) The stage is set for Sunday’s vote count after the by-elections to four Lok Sabha and 18 assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh, an exercise viewed as a semi-final before the next year’s general elections and a referendum on separate statehood to Telangana region. Election authorities have made all arrangements for the counting of votes polled in by-elections. About 60 percent of 8.6 million voters had cast their votes in the by-elections Thursday.

The counting of votes will begin at 8 a.m. and all results are expected to be announced by the afternoon.

Election officials have set up 28 centres for counting of votes in four Lok Sabha constituencies while the votes polled in assembly constituencies will be counted at 18 centres.

Four MPs and 16 state legislators of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) had resigned en masse in March to protest the delay in carving out a separate state of Telangana.

By-polls in two assembly constituencies were held due to death of sitting legislators of the ruling Congress party and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Leaders of the three major parties are keeping their fingers crossed. While TRS is hopeful of retaining all seats, the ruling party is confident of winning at least two Lok Sabha and nine assembly seats. TDP hopes to regain the lost ground in the region.

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