NELLORE: Elaborate arrangements are being made for counting of votes polled in Atmakur by-election on Sunday.
YSR Congress leaders are confident about the victory of their party nominee, Mekapati Vikram Reddy, with ease. They are, however, anxious as their party chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has fixed the victory margin as 1 lakh votes. The anxiety among ruling party leaders is because the voting percentage has been a mere 64.11, as against 82.44 percent in 2019 general elections. Incidentally, the then YSRC candidate, Mekapati Goutham Reddy, had won by 22,276 votes.
Main opposition TD has not fielded any candidate in the by-poll in keeping with its policy of not entering the fray if a family member of the deceased sitting member is contesting. Bharatiya Janata Party has, however, fielded G. Bharat Kumar, who is president of its Nellore district unit.
A large contingent of police has been deployed at Andhra Engineering College, the counting centre, to prevent any untoward incident. District administration has trained counting officials to complete the entire exercise duly following Election Commission of India’s guidelines without any deviations.
Joint collector and returning officer for the election, M.N. Harendhira Prasad, has instructed officials to check all requirements before the commencement of counting. He has asked counting assistants and supervisors to reach the counting centre by 6 a.m. on Sunday. 14 tables have been arranged for counting, which will be completed within 20 rounds.
A micro-observer, a supervisor, and an assistant will be present at each table, Harendhira explained. He said there will be tight security at the counting centre and only people with valid entry passes will be allowed....