Kurnool: High pitch campaign for MLC elections

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Ruling TD likely to emerge victorious with switchovers.

KURNOOL: Campaign shifted to high pitch for MLC elections to the local authority constituency in Kurnool. The fight is mainly between the ruling Telugu Desam and YSR Congress, the main opposition in the legislative assembly. While TD has fielded Shilpa Chakrapani Reddy, giving him another term, YSRC chose its district president Gowru Venkat Reddy. In a sense both Shilpa and Gowru are leading their respective parties as the district unit presidents.

It is advantage TD all the way in the district as it has gained much muscle from MLA’s shifting from YSRC. Since January 2016, the MLAs from Nandyal, Allagadda, Srisailam, Kurnool, and Kodumuru constituencies joined the ruling TD. With this changed equation, the TD could muster 707 votes in the local authority constituency.  However, TD lost Allgadda strong man Gangula Prabhakar Reddy to YSRC. With this, the YSRC could muster only 298 votes.

In all, 1,084 representatives of local bodies will cast their votes in the MLC polls from district. Of them, 53 are ZPTC members, 804 MPTCs and 227 municipal councillors. Of the total electorate, the TD has strength of 500, YSRC 475 and Congress 40. The remaining 69 elected representatives belong to various parties including independent candidates. Nearly 70 of the total 475 YSRC representatives are said to be loyal to TD. Some of the YSRC and Congress MPTCs and ZPTCs and those belong to TD may resort to cross voting.

YSRC candidate exudes confidence that there could be cross voting. Particularly he was hopeful that in Nandikotkur constituency, Mandra Shiva Reddy and 56 others who crossed over to TD would back him. It remains to be seen how it would pan out. As of now, Nandikotkur MLC  stood loyal to YSRC and making efforts for success of their candidate Gowru Venkat Reddy.

In this fluid situation, the YSRC and TD are trying to keep their flock together. The political parties have set up camps at undisclosed locations and shifted their MPTCs and ZPTCs from their constituencies.

Police step up security for smooth conduct of polls:

Rayalaseema Inspector General of Police N. Sreedhar Rao directed the police personnel to ensure arrangements for the smooth conduct of MLC election for Graduates and Teachers that are likely to take place this month. Reviewing arrangements with the Sub Divisional Police Officers at Ved Vyas Auditorium, the IG said the police would follow the Chief Election Commission orders by keeping a track record on elections websites.

He said that additional staff would be deployed at Kurnool, Adoni and Nandyal poling centers and discharge duties with due responsibility at strong rooms. He said the services of the para military forces would be utilised to prevent untoward incidents at the problematic centers. He directed the  Deputy Inspector General of Police B.V. Ramana Kumar to restrict the movements of violators and be watchful about the whereabouts of the rowdies.

He also asked the officials to take utmost care while transporting the ballot boxes. Later Superintendent of Police A. Ravi Krishna elaborated on the details of non-bailable warrants, bind over cases, licensed arms recovery, number of polling centers and strongrooms, number of persons exercising votes and the staff deployed for the polling, through a power point presentation to Inspector General of Police.

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