Gamblers bet big on Mangalagiri seat

Police arrests 7 persons and seizes Rs 10.15 lakh from them.

Vijayawada: Political betting is on a surge for Mangalagiri Assembly seat which is a hot seat in AP.

The police arrested 7 persons and seized Rs 10.15 lakh from them when they were readying to put bets on the win of Telugu Desam candidate and minister for IT N. Lokesh and YSR Congress aspirant Alla Ramakrishna Reddy. The discussion among the TD and YSRC supporters about the results of Mangalagiri seat is turning into serious altercations which is further leading to election betting.

According to reports, nearly Rs 300 crore were put on bets in Mangalagiri Assembly constituency on the win of TD and YSRC and further on the margin of votes. Interestingly the punters are writing betting agreements on bond papers by putting in mediators for implementation of the agreement.

TD treated the election in the Mangalagiri seat as prestigious because Amaravati is part of the constituency, apart from the fact that Mr Lokesh was the TD candidate. Sitting MLA of YSRC, Ramakrishna Reddy was a thorn in the flesh of the TD government by knocking the doors of the courts against land pooling of the TD government and helped hundreds of farmers keep their farmlands. This became a hurdle for the APCRDA to collect land in Tadepalli and Mangalagiri mandals. The TD high command, to get rid of the unfavourable atmosphere to it, fielded Mr Lokesh to win the seat at any cost. On the other hand, YSRC also treated the Mangalagiri election as a prestigious fight, and pressed YSRC president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and Y.S. Sharmila into poll campaigns.

There were allegations about offering huge sops including Rs 10,000 per voter during polling. YSRC cadres also arduously worked and gave a tough fight and hence the Mangalagiri seat became a top hot seat in AP.

Several TD and YSRC leaders, on the condition of anonymity, said TD and YSRC were fully confident about winning Mangalagiri seat and hence the supporters of both the parties put huge money on 1:3 to 1:5 ratios. They said that the punters were writing the agreements on the bond/stamp papers by putting mediators and agents. They also said that “Andhra octopus” Lagadapati Rajagopal would announce his exit poll results on May 19 and betting would increase on the basis of that exit poll and other exit polls.

Seven persons namely B. Venkateswara Rao, K. Vijaybhaskar Reddy, G. Madhva Rao, B. Srinivas Rao, P. Srinivas Rao, V. Sambasiva Rao and P. Sasidhar were engaged in betting on the win of TD and YSRC in a room in Sahara Hotel at Mangalagiri. The police conducted a raid and arrested seven punters, seized Rs 10.15 lakh, seven cell phones, one car, two bikes and three stamp papers.

Guntur urban SP Ch. Vijaya Rao lamented that political betting was not good as it would damage the financial conditions of the families. He warned that the police would not spare anybody who engaged in political betting activity and would take stern actions against punters and organisers. He said that the police was conducting further investigation about political betting.

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