VIJAYAWADA: All arrangements are in place for the Badvel Assembly by-election, in Kadapa district, the bastion of the YSRC and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, on Saturday. The polling will be held from 7 am to 7 pm. Though there are 15 contenders, the key contest would be between the ruling YSRC and the BJP, which is trying to gain a foothold in the district. The bypoll was necessitated following the death of YSRC legislator Dr G Venkatasubbaiah due to illness in March.
The YSRC fielded Venkatasubbaiah’s widow Dr Sudha and has set itself a target of winning the seat by more than one lakh majority. The party won the seat with a majority of over 44,000 in the 2019 elections over TDP’s Dr O Rajasekhar. This time, however, the TDP and the Janasena are not contesting with the YSRC fielding the family member of the deceased legislator. The BJP, which said it is opposed to family politics, fielded P Suresh while the Congress fielded former MLA P M Kamalamma.
The YSRC handed over the responsibility of winning the bypoll to senior leader and Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy while a host of ministers, MLAs and leaders campaigned for the party candidate. The BJP too pitched in its State leaders and a Union minister to campaign for Suresh.
Though the Jana Sena Party is in alliance with the BJP, none of its leaders have campaigned in Badvel.
Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Officer K Vijayanand Friday said all arrangements are in place for the smooth conduct of the bypoll. He appealed to the people to cast their votes without any fear and favour.
Vijayanand said of the 15 in fray, 13 are men and two are women. The officials have set up 281 polling stations and engaged 271 videographers to record the election process. Webcasting arrangements were also made to monitor the polling.Led by district collector Vijayarama Raju, a total of 1,348 staff will be on election duties and four officials including a general observer, police observer and two expenditure observers are monitoring the entire election process.
Vijayanand said all the political leaders who campaigned for their respective candidates were asked to leave the Badvel constituency limits 72 hours prior to the voting day. All the local hotels, guest houses, community halls and residential schools were checked to ensure that there were no outsiders, the CEO said. Vijayanand said the borders of Badvel constituency were sealed and only vehicles carrying essential goods would be allowed inside the constituency limits. Meanwhile, rain lashed Badvel on Friday morning when the officials were making arrangements to distribute the poll material to the staff.
Medha Patkar to address a rally against privatisation
The agitation being spearheaded by the Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee is likely to reach its peak in the next three days. Noted social activist Medha Patkar will address a rally against privatisation of the steel plant on Saturday. Pawan Kalyan will address a public meeting at Kurmannapalem on Sunday. A rally with students and youth will be taken out from AVN College to beach road on November 1 to mark the anniversary of firing during Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku agitation in which nine people were killed in Vizag.