ANDHRA PRADESH

High turnout raises candidates’ hopes

Staff Reporter

First-time voters seem to have supported either Praja Rajyam or Lok Satta



EVM snag delays polling by one hour or so at some booths

Vamsi Mohan and Lagadapati come face to face and greet each other at Patamata ZP school



VIJAYAWADA: The high turnout of women voters in Vijayawada East Assembly constituency on Thursday is being interpreted in some political circles as an advantage to Praja Rajyam candidate Yalamanchili Ravi, while the Telugu Desam nominee Gadde Rammohan is banking on a split in the Congress vote bank to secure a win. Congress nominee Devineni Rajasekhar (Nehru) was pinning his hopes on his individual support base.

By 3 p.m., the voting percentage in this segment came to 59 and it reached 68 per cent by 5 p.m. Right from the morning, women and the aged came to the polling centres in large number. In some cases, they arrived even before the start of the process.

Cross voting

A lot of cross voting reportedly took place among all sections of voters, as the voter preferences varied between the candidates of Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies. A significant benefit out of this cross voting, according to one possibility, was expected to go to TDP candidate Vallabhaneni Vamsi Mohan.

A good number of youths, especially first time voters, also turned out for voting in large numbers and most of them admitted to have supported either the Praja Rajyam or the Lok Satta Party.

Delay to the extent of an hour or so was reported at some polling booths because of temporary problems in the functioning of EVMs.

The Praja Rajyam, according to some reports, did well in Krishnalanka, Patamata, Patamatalanka and Ramalingeswara Nagar. The party is understood to have split the vote of the Congress in 8th, 9th and other divisions in Patamata. To a lesser extent, the Lok Satta Party had split the TDP vote in this area.

Mr. Rajesekhar’s hope is now resting on his carefully nurtured vote bank among the BCs, SCs, STs and minorities in the constituency.

Caste polarisation

The brisk polling also left scope for the perception that the caste polarisation was complete and clear among the two predominant communities of Kammas and Kapus. This factor could have caused some loss to the Congress.

Lok Sabha constituency candidates Vallabhaneni Vamsi Mohan of the TDP and his Congress rival Lagadapati Rajagopal came face-to-face and greeted each other at the ZP High School in Patamata. They shook hands and exchanged pleasantries before leaving the venue.

Mr. Vamsi Mohan made a complaint at the Zion High School that the Congress corporator Musunuri Subba Rao was resorting to irregularities. They had a brief argument over the polling process.

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