Nandyal bypoll: Voting today began across 255 polling stations in Nandyal Assembly constituency in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. People were seen waiting in queue to cast their votes, according to ANI report. It has been learnt that YSR Congress party candidate and former minister Shilpa Mohan Reddy has already cast his vote. The election is seen as a crucial one for ruling Telugu Desam Party and opposition YSR Congress. BJP, which backs TDP, is keenly watching the outcome of this bypoll to fine-tune its strategy for 2019 Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh. For the first time, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system is being used in the by-election in the election.
The bypoll is necessitated due to the death of sitting MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy, who won the seat by a margin of 3,600 votes as YSRC candidate in 2014 but switched over to the TDP in February 2016. The TDP has fielded Reddy’s nephew Brahmananda Reddy. Notably, the TDP did not win the Nandyal seat in the 2004, 2009 and 2014 general elections.
In all, 15 candidates, including Congress’ Gaddam Abdul Khadar, are in the fray but the principal fight is between the TDP and the YSRC candidates.
The Rayalaseema Parirakshana Samiti, an unregistered political outfit, also fielded its candidate as an independent and he might eat into the votes of both the TDP and the YSRC. It will be interesting to see to what extent the Congress candidate will dent the two main contenders by splitting the 45,000-odd Muslim votes is also seen to be crucial in deciding the outcome, according to PTI report.