Andhra Pradesh

YSRCP retains Tirupati LS seat

Political party agents in PPE suits observe the proceeding at a vote counting centre in Nellore on Sunday.  

The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) retained the prestigious Tirupati Lok Sabha (SC) seat as its candidate M. Gurumoorthy, a political novice, logged an impressive margin of over 2,71,500 votes as the counting of votes polled in the April 17 byelection concluded on Sunday evening.

Dr. Gurumoorthy, making his electoral debut following the demise of YSRCP MP B. Durgaprasad, polled more than 6.26 lakh votes to improve the victory margin of the party by 1.64%. Durgaprasad had won by a margin of 55.03% in 2019.

Former Union Minister and TDP candidate Panabaka Lakshmi was the lone contestant to put up a semblance of fight as she polled 3,54,500 votes (32.09%). Ms Lakshmi, who had unsuccessfully contested against Durgaprasad in 2019 after switching over from the Congress to the TDP ahead of the elections, polled 4.75% less number of votes this time.

Dr. Gurumoorthy established a lead of over 10,000 votes in the first round itself, and increased the margin in every round to poll 6,26,108 votes in 25 rounds of counting held under the supervision of Nellore District Collector and Returning Officer K.V.N. Chakradhar Babu at two counting centres amid tight security and strict adherence to the COVID-19 norms.

Setback for BJP-JSP

The result came as a big disappointment to the BJP - Jana Sena Party combine, which had considered the byelection as a springboard to catapult to power in the State by opening its account in the spiritual centre with its “Hindutva agenda,” as its candidate K. Ratnaprabha suffered an ignominious defeat by polling only a little over 57,000 votes (5.17%) in the wake of JSP president Pawan Kalyan withdrawing from campaign midway after contracting COVID-19.

Ms. Ratnaprabha, a bureaucrat-turned-politician, lost deposit and so did 25 other candidates, who included another former Union Minister and Congress candidate Chinta Mohan, who polled 9,500 votes.

CPI (M) candidate Nellore Yadagiri secured a little less than 6,000 votes as the party’s efforts to expose the regional parties alleged failure to fight against the BJP’s “communal agenda and perceived injustice to the State post bifurcation” failed to cut ice with the voters.

Over 15,500 voters (1.41%) exercised the NOTA option as none of the Independent candidates polled more than 5,000 votes.

The surging COVID-19 cases resulted in a reduced voter turnout of 64.42% against 79.76% in 2019.

‘People reposed faith in Jagan’

Coming out of the counting centre set up at the D.K. Government Degree College for Women in Nellore, Dr. Gurumoorthy said the result showed that the people reposed their faith in the leadership of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, thanks to the implementation of welfare schemes on a large scale. He promised to make himself available to the voters and strive in Parliament for implementation of all assurances made to the State at the time of bifurcation.

Dr. Gurumoorthy, in PPE suit, made a mention of the efforts of the State government to address the oxygen shortage to provide succour to the COVID-19 patients and overcome the pandemic.

Meanwhile, TTD Chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy, in-charge of the campaign for the YSRCP, said that the party could not win by the projected victory margin of five lakh-plus votes due to the low voter turnout.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 12:18:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/ysrcp-retains-tirupati-ls-seat/article34467819.ece

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