Nail-biting finish in Vijayawada East constituency

PRP candidate Y. Ravi exults at his victory in Vijayawada on Saturday .

PRP candidate Y. Ravi exults at his victory in Vijayawada on Saturday .  

Staff Reporter

Praja Rajyam Party candidate Yalamanchili Ravi scrapes through in a keen triangular contest

Ravi defeats Congress’ Nehru by just 190 votes

TDP’s Gadde Rammohan relegated to 3rd position

VIJAYAWADA: Praja Rajyam Party candidate Yalamanchili Ravi defeated his nearest rival and Congress candidate Devineni Rajasekhar (Nehru) by a slender majority of just 190 votes in a keenly fought election to the Vijayawada East Assembly constituency. Telugu Desam Party candidate Gadde Rammohan, too, put up a strong fight, but slipped to the third position.

As the fight went down the wire with Mr. Ravi establishing a very narrow lead of just 50 votes over Mr. Rajasekhar at the end of the 19th and last round, postal ballots were taken into account. In all, Mr. Ravi polled 53,319 votes, followed by Mr. Rajasekhar with 53,129 and Mr. Rammohan with 52,274.

The keen triangular contest marred Mr. Rajasekhar’s chances, despite the fact that he got good leads in the first few rounds. Mr. Ravi’s success in splitting the TDP votebank paved the way for his eventual win, though with a very thin margin. The TDP leaders were upset that in addition to the PRP, Lok Satta Party (LSP) candidate K.V.P. Basaveswara Rao too played the role of a spoiler.

They were of the opinion that the LSP snatched a few thousands of votes that otherwise would have come to the TDP candidate.

A spirited contest was seen between the three major candidates all through the counting, as each of them gained an upper hand over others in one round or the other.

In the second round, the Congress candidate had a lead over the PRP while by the 8th round the TDP gained an edge over the Congress. Anxiety among the three parties built up, as the results showed changes in leads at every turn.

Kapu vote bank

The PRP leaders attributed the victory of their candidate to the effective transfer of the Kapu vote in the entire constituency and also the grand success of their party chief Chiranjeevi’s roadshow during the election campaign.

The individual strength of Mr. Ravi in the constituency also helped in making him stand in good stead. Caste polarisation also helped the PRP, while this factor proved a dampener for both the Congress and the TDP.

Mr. Ravi is said to have got good support in Patamatalanka, Krishnalanka and neighbouring areas. He made strong inroads into the TDP votebank in Patamata and other areas as well.

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