Mekapati Vikram Reddy greeting his supporters outside the counting centre in Atmakur after his victory on Sunday. (DC)
Nellore: YSR Congress nominee Mekapati Vikram Reddy won the Atmakur assembly by-poll with a thumping majority of 82,888 votes.
Vikram trounced his 13 rivals by polling 1,02,241 votes, while BJP nominee Bharat Kumar got 19,353 votes and BSP candidate Nanda Obulesu 4,904 votes. Independent Dr Sasidhar Reddy Tumati secured 2276 votes while the others ended up with 3-digit votes.
NOTA took away as many as 4,182 votes. These were believed to be votes mostly of TD men who were against voting for the YSR Congress or the BJP.
TD supporters had circulated messages to their friends to vote for NOTA to showcase their vote share, it is learnt.
The counting commenced at 8am in an engineering college at Atmakur under the supervision of Collector Chakradhar Babu and joint collector Harendhira Prasad. Vikram Reddy’s lead started rising from the first round and there was no looking back for him till the 20th and last round.
An alumnus of IIT Chennai, Vikram entered the fray to carry on the legacy of his brother and deceased Atmakur legislator Mekapati Goutham Reddy who functioned as a state minister.
TD kept away from the election as per its policy not to field candidates when kin of a deceased member is in the fray.
The margin high came as a big relief to YSR Congress leaders and ministers, who had toiled hard in the hot summer to ensure a 1 lakh vote majority to Vikram Reddy as per instructions from Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy.
While the ruling party was short of 18,000 votes to meet the target, its leaders claim this was because the polling percentage was only 64.11 per cent.
One of the key YSRC leaders who supervised the election, agriculture minister Kakani Govardhan Reddy, attributed the big victory to the "transparent, impartial and unbiased" approach of chief minister Jagan in implementing his welfare schemes and reaching them to every eligible beneficiary.
Stressing that all welfare schemes are in saturation mode, he said the sympathy wave for Goutham Reddy also helped Vikram Reddy secure a lot of votes.
Police had made elaborate security arrangements under the supervision of SP Vijaya Rao.