Polling on in seven Andhra assembly seats (Lead)

March 18th, 2012 - 12:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, March 18 (IANS) Bypolls were on in seven assembly constituencies of Andhra Pradesh Sunday, including six in the Telanaga region, with over 13.82 lakh voters eligible to exercise their franchise.

Polling began amid tight security at 8 a.m. The results will decide the fate of 67 candidates belonging to various political parties. Voters formed long queues outside several polling stations in the constituencies.

The bypolls are a result of vacancies that arose due to the resignations of two legislators of the Congress party, one of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), three rebels of the TDP and the death of one independent legislator.

Unlike the previous byelections, lack of the Telangana sentiment this time has made the going tough for Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the six constituencies that fall in the region.

About 10,000 policemen and polling personnel have been deployed for smooth and peaceful conduct of the polling at 1,660 polling centres. Electronic voting machines (EVM) are being used for the polling, which will continue till 5 p.m.

Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwar Lal said senior poll officers would be monitoring the polling process at all centres through webcasting.

Majority of the assembly constituencies are witnessing triangular contests among the ruling Congress, the TDP and TRS.

At Kovur assembly constituency in Nellore district, the contest is among the Congress, YSR Congress and the TDP. The YSR Party is staying away from the polls in Telangana.

Two legislators each of the Congress and the TDP had resigned to join the TRS. Senior TDP leader N. Janardhan Reddy resigned over the demand for a separate Telangana state and is seeking re-election as an independent from Nagarkurnool in Mahabubnagar district. Both TRS and BJP are extending support to him.

Another TDP rebel Prasanna Kumar Reddy quit from Kovur to join YSR Congress party. The fledgling outfit is going all out to win this seat, as it will be major test for the party ahead of another round of by-polls.

The assembly speaker earlier this month disqualified 16 Congress rebels, who switched loyalties to the YSR Party. He also accepted the resignation of a legislator of Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), who had also joined the YSR Party floated by Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, son of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

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