Peculiar dip in voter turnout in Tirupati, Satyavedu Assembly segments boggles poll pundits

Although the dip in the Tirupati Assembly segment’s poll percentage is attributed to the general trend of prevailing disinterest in voting among urban voters, the reason for the declined polling percentage in the Satyavedu segment, a reserved constituency with a predominantly rural background, remains a puzzle

Updated - May 21, 2024 08:20 am IST

Published - May 20, 2024 08:44 pm IST - TIRUPATI

People wait to vote for the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections in Tirupati on May 13.

People wait to vote for the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections in Tirupati on May 13. | Photo Credit: PTI

In contrast to the voting trend in the State in general and the majority of Assembly constituencies of Tirupati district in particular, the Tirupati and Satyavedu Assembly segments have shown a peculiar dip in the polling percentage this year compared to the previous elections.

Although the dip in the Tirupati Assembly segment’s poll percentage is attributed to the general trend of prevailing disinterest in voting among urban voters, the reason for the declined polling percentage in the Satyavedu segment, a reserved constituency with a predominantly rural background, remained a puzzle for the poll pundits.

While the Tirupati district saw a marginal increase of 0.15% in voter turnout in 2024, with 78.63% polling compared to 78.48% in 2019, the Tirupati Assembly segment witnessed a dip of 2.6% in polling percentage in 2024 (63.32%) from the 65.92% polling in the 2019 elections.

Similarly, the Satyavedu Assembly segment, an SC reserved constituency, also showed a decline in polling percentage by 1.16%, to 85.28% in 2024 from 86.45% in 2019.

However, voter turnout in the other constituencies in the district increased in 2024 compared to the 2019 elections and seems to have compensated for the decline in the above two segments, resulting in a marginal increase in the district’s overall voting percentage.

Gudur constituency saw an increase to 78.89% polling in 2024 from 78.12% in 2019, Sullurpeta to 82.92% in 2024 from 82.86% in 2019, Venkatagiri to 80.87% in 2024 from 78.56% in 2019, Chandragiri to 79.89% in 2024 from 78.13% in 2019 and Srikalahasti to 83.25% from 82.46% in 2019.

Owing to the extended polling hours and violence witnessed on the very next day of polling, there was an unexpected delay in making public the actual polling percentage in the Tirupati district, said Collector and District Election Officer Pravin Kumar at a media conference here on Monday, May 20.

“The poll percentage for general elections 2024 and 2019 are 78.63 and 78.48, respectively, for Tirupati district. The fall in percentage in Tirupati and Satyavedu segments was compensated by the increase in other segments, which helped in increasing the overall polling percentage in the district by 0.14%,” Mr. Pravin Kumar said.

Tight security

The Collector said the strongrooms and counting centres in SPMVV School of Engineering and Technology and SPW Degree College had been thoroughly secured and are watched from 90 CCTV cameras monitored by a control room. He added that three Tahsildars are deployed on a shift basis to watch the security arrangements and monitor the live streaming.

Superintendent of Police V. Harshavardhan Raju said a three-tier security system comprising central forces was in place near strongrooms with the State armed police at the inner perimeter and civil police at the outer perimeter.

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