- 64 % voting compared to 78% in 2019
- Muscle, money power play key role
- TDP, Jana Sena not in race
Tirupathi: Bypoll for Tirupati LS took a curious turn from first hour of polling on Saturday with TDP, BJP complaining about bogus voters. They mainly alleged that ruling party brought hundreds of fake voters from neighbouring districts in buses and cars .TDP Supremo Chandrababu Naidu wrote a letter to EC demanding re polling in Tirupati assembly segment.
Tirupati parliamentary constituency consists of seven assembly segments – Tirupathi, Satyavedu, and Srikalahasti in Chittoor district, Sarvepalli, Guduru, Sullurupeta and Venkatagiri in Nellore district.
There is clear cut majority voting for ruling party in all the seven assembly segments from the first hour of polling. Though there were small incidents of violence, polling went on as per schedule until last hour. The surprise on polling day was no show by Jana Sena leaders at any booth or near any assembly segment. Even TDP leaders were not seen in full force and instead of mobilising their voters towards booth, tried to focus on fake voters. This led to wastage of time and the party missed the opportunity of moving their cadre towards polling booths.
BJP-Jana Sena alliance was expected to fare better after filing Ratnaprabha as its candidate, but the alliance clearly failed in booth management on the poll day. The voting percentage is very low when compared to 2019 general elections. It was 78% in 2019 but ended with 64 % in the bypoll. Voters also did not show much enthusiasm for casting their vote because of COVID. YCP had a victory margin of five lakhs as its target with many ministers campaigning vigorously. Minister Peddireddy RamchandraReddy lifted spirits of YCP cadre by moving all around in Chittoor segments. Chandrababu Naidu and Lokesh worked hard for the win of their candidate Panabaka Lakshmi. Jana Sena Chief Pawan kalyan, BJP AP in charge Sunil Deodhar campaigned for Ratnaparbha. AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy cancelled his tour keeping in view of surge in COVID cases.
In 2019 LS elections, YCP won with 64 % of votes, but this time, there will be shortage in percentage and may end up with 50%, TDP bagged 37% of vote share but may end up with 27% this time and BJP-Jana Sena will bag 7 to 10% of vote share. The main reason for increase in vote share of alliance is Settibalaija community voted for Jana Sena which was not the case in 2019 elections.
The final verdict will be a win for YCP but may fall short of expectations in majority and this point will be used by opposition parties in future to say that there is an anti-incumbency sentiment against the ruling party in state.