Stage set for counting of votes in Andhra Assembly, LS polls

 andhrapradesh | Written by : IANS Updated: Tue, Jun 04, 2024, 09:26 AM

Amaravati, June  (IANS) All arrangements are in place for the counting of votes in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, Chief Electoral Officer M.K. Meena said on Monday.

The counting of votes polled in state Assembly and Lok Sabha elections will begin at 8 a.m. with the counting of postal ballots.

This will be followed by counting the votes recorded in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

A total of 401 counting halls have been set up at 33 places across the state. This time, in view of the record number of postal ballots received in the state, the election authorities have set up special counters.

Meena, who personally visited a few counting centres, said the Election Commission of India has appointed 119 counting observers for the state.

A total of 3.33 crore votes were polled in simultaneous elections to the 175-member Assembly and all 25 Lok Sabha seats on May 13. A total of 4.61 lakh postal ballots were cast while 26,473 voters availed of home voting facility. As many as 26,721 service voters also exercised their right to vote electronically.

For the Parliamentary constituencies, 2,443 EVM tables and 557 postal ballot tables were arranged. For Assembly constituencies, 2,446 EVM tables and 557 postal ballot tables were arranged.

The vote count in the Amalapuram Lok Sabha constituency will be completed in 27 rounds. This is likely to take nine hours. Counting will be completed for the Rajahmundry and Narsapuram Lok Sabha constituencies in 13 rounds each and the results for these two seats are expected in five hours.

There will be 26 rounds of counting each in the Bhimili and Panyam Assembly segments. The results from the Kovur and Narsapuram Assembly segments are expected in five hours.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made. Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code will be imposed at the counting centre. Mobile phones will not be allowed in the counting centres. Security forces have been mobilised to maintain law and order.

Tight security measures have been taken in the wake of violent incidents that occurred on the polling day and on the subsequent days at a few places.

A heavy voter turnout of 82.73 per cent was recorded in the simultaneous elections.

For the Assembly elections, a total of 2,387 candidates are in the fray.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy (Pulivendula), TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu (Kuppam), and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan (Pithapuram) are among the key candidates.

For 25 Lok Sabha, 454 contestants are in the fray and the prominent among them are state BJP chief D. Purandeswari (Rajahmundry), state Congress President Y.S. Sharmila Reddy (Kadapa) and former Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, now in the BJP (Rajampet).

In 2019, the YSRCP secured a landslide victory, winning 151 of the 175 Assembly seats with a 49.95 per cent vote share. The TDP could only secure 23 seats with 39.17 per cent of the votes while the remaining seat went to the Jana Sena. The YSRCP had also won 22 Lok Sabha seats while the remaining three went to the TDP. The BJP and Congress drew a blank in both Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.

This time, the state witnessed a direct fight between the YSRCP and the NDA, comprising the TDP, the Jana Sena, and the BJP. Under the seat-sharing agreement, the TDP is contesting 144 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha seats. The JSP has fielded candidates in 21 Assembly segments and two Lok Sabha constituencies. The BJP is contesting 10 Assembly and six Lok Sabha seats.

The Congress fielded candidates in 159 Assembly and 23 Lok Sabha constituencies. It has left the remaining seats for its allies CPI and CPI-M.