Parties in Andhra Pradesh welcome two-phase polling

March 2nd, 2009 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 2 (IANS) All political parties in Andhra Pradesh have welcomed the Election Commission’s decision to hold two-phase polling in the state for both the Lok Sabha and the state assembly.
Andhra Pradesh will go to the polls April 16 and 23. While polling for 22 Lok Sabha seats and their assembly segments in Telangana and north Andhra will be held in the first phase, the remaining 20 Lok Sabha seats and their assembly segments in Rayalseema and coastal Andhra will take place in the second phase.

The polling to 42 Lok Sabha and 294 assembly seats are expected to witness three-cornered contests.

While the ruling Congress party is likely to go it alone, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has formed a grand alliance with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the two communist parties.

Praja Rajyam floated by Telugu super star Chiranjeevi is the third contender for power.

Finance Minister K. Rosaiah said the Congress was confident of retaining power.

TDP leader N. Janardhan Reddy urged the Election Commission to send additional forces to the state to ensure free and fair polls.

TRS leader K. Rama Rao warned that the people of Telangana would “teach a lesson to the Congress for betraying the cause of a separate state”.

Andhra Pradesh has 56.68 million voters including 28.64 million women. The state will set up 66,364 polling stations and use 140,000 electronic voting machines.

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