Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh: Arrangements in place for Atmakur byelection on June 23

Students of Andhra Engineering College sit in a pattern on Wednesday, appealing to the voters to exercise their franchise in the June 23 Atmakur byelection.

Students of Andhra Engineering College sit in a pattern on Wednesday, appealing to the voters to exercise their franchise in the June 23 Atmakur byelection.

The stage is set for the conduct of the byelection to the Atmakur Assembly seat in Nellore district on June 23.

Though 14 candidates are in the fray, the contest is likely to be mainly between YSRCP candidate Mekapati Vikram Reddy and BJP contestant G. Bharat Kumar Yadav.

The byelection is caused by the demise of two-time MLA and Information Technology Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy.

The main Opposition, the TDP, is not contesting the byelection in keeping with a convention set in the past to facilitate the victory of a member from the deceased MLA’s family.

The byelection will be a litmus test for the YSRCP, which in 2019 had won all the 10 Assembly seats in Nellore district. A host of Ministers have campaigned for the party in a bid to retain the constituency held by the deceased Minister twice in 2014 and 2019.

The BJP, which is striving to emerge as an alternative to the ruling party in the 2024 elections, has left no stone unturned to put up an impressive performance by pressing into service its national leaders such as general secretary D. Purandeswari and Rajya Sabha member G.V.L. Narasimha Rao.

COVID protocol

Overseeing the arrangements at Atmakur, District Collector and District Election Officer K.V.N. Chakradhar Babu said, “Fully following COVID-19 protocol, elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure a free and fair election.”

Over 2.13 lakh voters, who include 1.07 lakh women, are eligible to exercise their franchise between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the 279 polling stations, 123 of them sensitive, set up in the constituency, according to Joint Collector and Returning Officer M.N. Harendhira Prasad.

“Polling stations have been arranged in spacious halls with 1,250 voters each against the normal 1,500,” he said.

Webcasting of the polling process will be taken up in 140 polling stations and videography in 78 polling stations. All the polling personnel, officers and agents have already taken two doses of vaccine.

Precautionary doses were administered to those uncovered so far at Andhra Engineering College (AEC), which was a beehive of activity with over 1,300 polling personnel collecting the EVMS to their respective polling stations along with masks, sanitizers and thermal scanners on Wednesday.

A health worker is being posted in each and every polling station, and provision is made for each voter to wear gloves while voting without physically coming in contact with the EVM.

Over 1,000 security personnel, including three companies of Central paramilitary forces, have been drafted for providing a three-tier security, according to Superintendent of Police Ch. Vijaya Rao.

Cash, liquor seized

The police had seized ₹41.64 lakh in cash liquor worth ₹5.64 lakh in the run-up to the byelection.

AEC students sat in a pattern to impress upon the voters to compulsorily exercise their franchise on Thursday.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 5:15:43 pm |