Andhra Pradesh

Tirupati byelection: all set for counting of votes today

Collector K.V.N. Chakradhar Babu overseeing the arrangements for counting of votes, at D.K. Government Degree College for Women in Nellore on Saturday.  

With the Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissing the pleas for cancellation of the Tirupati Lok Sabha byelection on the charges of rigging by the ruling YSRCP, the stage is set for the counting of votes on Sunday.

Polling was held on April 17 for the byelection to the Tirupati Lok Sabha (SC) reserved constituency.

The counting would be taken up in 25 rounds from 8 a.m. amid tight security and COVID-19 safety protocol at D.K. Government Degree College for Women in Nellore for four Assembly segments in SPSR Nellore district and at S.V. Arts College in Tirupati for three Assembly segments in Chittoor district, said SPSR Nellore Collector and Returning Officer K.V.N. Chakradhar Babu.

Amid Opposition charge of ‘bogus voting by the YSR Congress Party’, a charge denied by the ruling party, 64.42% of the electors had voted in the byelection held when the second wave of coronavirus wreaked havoc in the constituency comprising the Assembly segments of Sarvepalli, Gudur, Sullurpeta and Naidupeta in SPSR Nellore district and Tirupati, Srikalahasti and Satyaveedu in Chittoor district.

The electoral fortunes of 28 candidates, including YSRCP nominee M. Gurumoorthy, former Union Ministers Panabaka Lakshmi of the TDP and Chinta Mohan of the Congress, and bureaucrat-turned-politician K. Ratnaprabha of the BJP, have been sealed in the EVMs in the byelection caused by the death of sitting MP B. Durgaprasad of the YSRCP.’

PPE kits

“Adequate number of PPE kits for counting agents and candidates have been arranged following COVID-19 guidelines,” said the Collector. The counting agents’ seating arrangement would be in such a way that between two counting agents one agent would be in a PPE suit, he said after overseeing the conduct of COVID-19 tests for some of the candidates, agents and media persons. They could produce RT-PCR/RAT report from any authorised lab also.

In all, 1,000 counting supervisors and counting assistants have been deployed with 50% reserve in view of the COVID-19 situation. No mobile phones/ electronic gadgets will be allowed in the counting halls. Sale of liquor has been banned from midnight of May 1 to 10 a.m. of May 3. No victory processions will be allowed. Not more than two persons will be allowed to accompany the winning candidate.

Meanwhile, Chittoor Collector M. Hari Narayanan said that 70 tables were arranged for the exercise with 230 polling staff at SV Arts College. The counting would commence at 7 a.m.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 12:08:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tirupati-byelection-all-set-for-counting-of-votes-today/article34460414.ece

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