After much fuss, winning declaration given to TD candidate in MLC poll

ANANTAPUR: After a day of twists, turns and tense situation at the counting centre for Graduate MLC polls in Rayalaseema West, the election authorities handed over the winning declaration to TD candidate Bhumireddy Ramgopal Reddy, on Sunday.

Though the returning officer had declared victory for the TD candidate on Saturday, the authorities had not given him the winning declaration as some irregularity was alleged in the counting by YSRC candidate V Ravnidra Reddy. He protested against the Anantapur collector and SP ignoring his representation for a recounting.

When the counting process ended, returning officer and Anantapur collector Naga Lakhsmi announced the results and said the TD candidate won the polls. She however did not release the winning declaration for him on Saturday night.
TD candidate Ramgopal Reddy accompanied by TD leaders staged a protest in front of the JNTUA campus demanding that the declaration be given to him. Police arrested Ramgopal Reddy and other leaders and shifted them to the police station.

“Though we were sitting in a silent protest on a genuine demand, police dragged us into the van like animals and shifted us to the police station,” Ramgopal Reddy said on Sunday.

The TD high command approached the state election commission and sent a representation to CEC, after which the returning officer got advice from above to release the declaration.

The Anantapur collector and RO gave the declaration to the TD candidate on Sunday morning. TD cadres celebrated the victory by cutting and sharing a cake. TD politburo member Kalava Srinivasulu, Hindupur Loksabha president BK Parthasarathi, Paritala Sriraram and several other TD leaders were present.
Meanwhile, YSRC candidate Vennapusa Ravindra Reddy alleged before the media on Sunday that the collector and SP bent to TD pressure. “Though, the counting staff mixed YSRC votes and valid votes on the table of the TD candidate, there was no action from the RO. We demanded a recounting, but the officials ignored our plea,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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