She will be declared elected if she polls highest number of votes under Rule 64 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has clarified that the polling to Allagadda Assembly constituency would be held by including the name of Bhuma Sobha Nagireddy, YSRC candidate who died in a road accident recently, in the ballot papers and also in the ballot paper on EVMs.

In its response to a letter written by the party seeking clarification, the Commission said that she would be declared elected if she polled the highest number of votes as declaration of result was governed by Rule 64 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.

“A candidate, as per the rule, means a contesting candidate whose name is included in the list of contesting candidates,” Principal Secretary to the ECI, K.F. Wilfred, said. Hence, the deceased candidate would also be a candidate for the purpose of the Rule 64. There was no provision in the law to treat the votes cast in favour of a deceased candidate as if they were cast for the NOTA option or to declare the candidate, who polls the highest number of votes among the remaining candidates, as elected, the ECI communication stated. In such an event, the deceased would be declared elected. A bye-election would then required.