Stage is set for conducting the by-election for Atmakur assembly segment on Thursday. (Representational Photo:DC)
NELLORE: Stage is set for conducting the by-election for Atmakur assembly segment on Thursday, June 23, 2022. Sudden demise of sitting member Mekapati Goutham Reddy has led to the by-poll.
There are as many as 2,13,400 voters, including 1,07,367 women, 11 third gender and 62 service voters in the segment. They will decide the fate of 14 candidates in fray.
The main contest is between ruling YSR Congress party nominee Mekapati Vikram Reddy, younger brother of late Goutham Reddy, and BJP’s G. Bharat Kumar, who is president of Nellore district BJP unit.
In a bid to showcase its supremacy, YSR Congress has deployed almost all ministers and some MLA’s for electioneering. It has devise a poll strategy for securing a majority of one lakh votes.
Not to be outdone, BJP has also used star campaigners, such as Purandeswari, G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, Y. Satyakumar, Somu Veerraju, Anjaneya Reddy, and MLCs Madhav and Vakati Narayana Reddy, among others.
Collector K.V.N. Chakradhar Babu, who is the district election officer, said they have already distributed 90.81 percent of voter slips to electors in the segment. In view of apprehensions expressed by political parties and contesting candidates over possible rigging and law and order issues, authorities concerned have added seven more polling stations to the list of 123 critical polling stations already identified.
"We have decided to deploy central and armed forces in all 130 hyper-sensitive polling stations, including 31 out of 40 polling stations in Chejerla mandal. Micro-observers have been posted in the remaining nine polling stations following complaints about possible trouble," the collector informed. They have arranged webcasting from 140 locations.
With regard to safety measures in view of Covid-19 cases prevailing in some areas of the constituency, hand gloves are being provided to electors while casting their vote at polling stations. Further, sufficient number of Covid-19 materials like masks, sanitisers and thermal scanners will be available. All polling personnel, election officials and polling agents have been vaccinated with two doses. Preventive dose is also being administered.
Chakradhar Babu said measures have been taken for disclosing percentage of polling every two hours. Drinking water facilities, toilets and ramps for disabled have been arranged at all polling stations in the segment. Polling will be held from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It may be noted that polling percentage had been 82.44 percent in 2019 general elections in the Atmakur constituency. As many as 1,72,288 of total 2,08,990 electors had exercised their franchise then.