Heavy polling in Andhra Pradesh, Jagan & TDP look to make gains

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Andhra Pradesh, in the second round of elections Wednesday, has seen about 80 per cent polling. The poll results will open doors for putting in place a new development model moving away from the earlier one which was Hyderabad and urban-centric. This will also herald a new government in Telangana, which will come into being on June 2.

According to AP chief electoral officer Bhanwar Lal, Srikakulam had 63 per cent polling, Vizianagaram 65 per cent, Vishakapatnam 57 per cent , East Godavari 61 per cent, West Godavari 67 per cent, Krishna 60 per cent, Guntur 67 per cent, Prakasam 62 per cent, Nellore 63 per cent, Kadapa 65 per cent, Kurnool 63 per cent, Anantapur 63 per cent and Chittoor district 61 per cent voting till 3 pm.

Three key parties are in the fray in the residuary state of AP. YSRCP, led by former chief minister late YS Rajsekhara Reddy’ son and industrialist YS Jaganmohan Reddy, has been harping on protecting farmer interests and laying a strong plank for development in Ap. He has opposed the Congress tooth and nail.

Jagan, who has been exuding confidence of getting elected as the first chief minister of the residuary state of AP, is banking on the massive following that his father had in the state.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which was in power for two terms before being voted out in two consecutive elections in 2004 and 2009, is hoping to make a comeback, in wake of bifurcation.

The TDP found an ally in the BJP and Narendra Modi campaigned seeking assembly votes for TDP and lok sabha votes for the BJP. TDP also had a star campaigner in matinee idol Pawan Kalyan, the sibling of Congress minister K Chiranjeevi.

Its president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is hoping that his blueprint to develop AP, on the lines of Singapore, with focus on industrialisation will strike a chord with the voters.

Congress that was elected for two successive terms, now finds itself on a sticky wicket. A large part of its cadre and leaders have joined other parties. Bifurcation did not help.

Telangana, which went for polls last week, had seen 72 per cent voting. Out of the ten districts, Hyderabad and Rangareddy have recorded the lowest percentage of voting – just over 50 per cent. This is partly attributed to a sizable number of people from here who have their voting rights in AP.

Besides Jagan and Naidu, the other prominent candidates in the assembly polls, brother-in-law of Naidu and N Balakrishna (Hindupur) and Seemandhra Congress chief N Raghuveera Reddy. Other key candidates in the fray include four union ministers, Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy (Kurnool), MM Pallam Raju (Kakinada), Kishore Chandra Deo (Araku) and Panabaka Lakshmi (Bapatla).

Former union minister D Purandeswari, daughter of TDP founder late NT Rama Rao, who quit Congress and joined the BJP, is contesting from Rajampet. YSRCP honorary president YS Vijayamma and Seemandhra BJP chief K Hari Babu are locked in a contest in Visakhapatnam.



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