Campaigning ends for Kadapa by-elections

May 6th, 2011 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, May 6 (IANS) Campaigning ended Friday evening for by-elections to Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula assembly constituencies in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh.

Polling will be held Sunday in the by-elections caused by the resignation of Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and his mother Y.S. Vijayalaxmi as MP and state legislator last year.

Both the constituencies are witnessing a three-cornered contest. Jagan, as Jaganmohan Reddy is popularly known, and his mother are seeking re-election as candidates of their newly-floated YSR Congress party.

Stakes are high for the ruling Congress party, which is going all out to defeat the widow and son of former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy while the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is mainly banking on division of votes between two principal contenders.

On the last day, the candidates and the leaders supporting them conducted door-to-door campaign to woo the voters.

The family members of Jagan including his sister Sharmila and wife Bharati vigorously campaigned for him and Vijayalaxmi.

State Health Minister D.L. Ravindra Reddy, who is taking on Jagan, and Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy, who is locked in a keen tussle with his sister-in-law Vijayalaxmi, conducted road shows and addressed public meetings. As many as 10 ministers besides Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy have campaigned for them in these bitterly fought elections.

TDP chief and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu himself hit the roads in favour of party candidates Mysoora Reddy and B. Tech Ravi for Lok Sabha and assembly seats respectively.

A total of 42 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha seat, while 25 candidates are testing their fortunes in Pulivendula assembly constituency.

The election authorities have made massive security arrangements for smooth conduct of the polls. More than 11,000 personnel of central and state police forces have been deployed to ensure peaceful polls.

State chief electoral officer Bhanwarlal said security arrangements on such a massive scale have been made keeping in view the past record of the two constituencies.

He directed all outsiders to leave the two constituencies by Friday evening while police kept a tight vigil on the transportation of money and liquor.

Jagan was elected from Kadapa in 2009 elections when his father retained power in the state. The death of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in a helicopter crash five months later altered the state’s political scene.

Vijayalaxmi was elected unopposed to the assembly from Pulivendula in the by-elections caused by her husband’s death.

Jagan, who was feeling sidelined, and his mother quit the Congress party and resigned as MP and MLA respectively in November last year, accusing the party leadership of dividing their family by wooing Vivekananda Reddy with a cabinet berth.

Jagan floated YSR Congress party in March.

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