VIJAYAWADA: Sympathy wave coupled with the confidence that the voters have in the TDP government’s rule has helped TDP candidate Tangirala Sowmya to arrest the Nandigama Assembly constituency (SC) byelection with a huge margin of 74,827.
The byelection was necessitated following the demise of her father Tangirala Prabhakar Rao due to a cardiac arrest days after he won the constituency in the state elections that were held in May.
The government’s announcement on location of the capital city for the truncated Andhra Pradesh in Vijayawada region that includes Nandigama area has had influenced the voters to sway in favour of the TDP thus giving a boost to the ruling party.
Sowmya, a software engineer by profession, polled 99,748 votes, while her nearest rival of the Congress party Bodapati Babu Rao had to contend with a mere 24,921 votes.
Speaking to reporters after the official announcement of her victory, Sowmya attributed her win to the able leadership of chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and voters’ love to her late father.
”I would like to thank the people of Nandigama, TDP chief and CM Chandrababu Naidu and irrigation minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao. I can consider this victory as a gift of people on the Chandrababu Naidu government completing 100 days in office and Vijayawada being declared as capital of Andhra Pradesh,” she said.
Though she expected to win, but the winning margin, nearly 75,000, surprised her. She promised to live up to the expectations of the people by doing whatever it takes for the development of Nandigama.
T Soumya had also campaigned for her father during the general elections and has been actively participating in party activities in the constituency after the latter’s death.
However, there were some smiles for the Congress leader as he had polled just 1,988 votes in the state elections. “We expected that we could get at least 25,000 votes in the byelection and we got the same. The announcement on the capital city had helped them garner more votes,” said a senior leader.
It may be worth mentioning that the main opposition YSR Congress had stayed away from fielding their candidate following a request from the TDP. Two independent candidates -- K Pullaiah and M Pulla Rao --who contested the election, secured 941 and 647 votes respectively. Interestingly, 1,177 voters chose the ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) option.
It may be noted that Nandigama is considered as the bastion of the yellow party, as the party has lost only once since 1983.