ANANTAPUR: At least 7,000 raincoats and 1,000 umbrellas were distributed to the polling staff for Badvel bypolls following heavy rains since Thursday night. Polling materials were distributed at the Balayogi Girls’ Residential School in Badvel even as heavy downpour continued to create inconvenience to the staff who came to collect the material.
Tents erected for the distribution of material were totally wet and the premises were totally drenched. Election authorities initiated measures to avoid damage for the material including EVMs and procured 7,000 raincoats and 1,000 umbrellas for the polling staff. Special care was taken to avoid technical problems during heavy rains and vehicles were arranged from the school to polling stations in the segment. Medical teams are positioned at all polling stations to provide necessary emergency medical aid for the staff and also voters, according to returning officer Kethan Gorge.
Covid positive patients can cast their votes after 6 pm. The voters who are suffering from other ailments should produce a negative certificate at the polling stations before casting their votes.
The bypoll was necessitated in Badvel constituency due to the demise of sitting MLA Gunthoti Venkata Subbaiah of YSRC. The YSRC fielded D. Sudha, widow of Venkata Subbaiah in the fray while the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has not fielded a candidate following the tradition of supporting family members of deceased MLA. While BJP fielded Suresh, youth leader from Kadapa district who had contested from Railway Kodur in last general elections and tasted defeat. The Congress fielded former MLA M. Kamalamma who was the first MLA of Badvel SC reserved segment. The CPI is extending support to the Congress alleging that the YSRC and the BJP have an understanding.
APCC chief S. Sailajanath hoped that the voters in Badvel realised the worse governance of YSRC and chose the Congress as the only alternative.
Though Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy did not come to Badvel for campaign on reasons of covid norms, a group of ministers and MLAs led by minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy led the campaign. MLAs and other leaders from Rayalaseema region campaigned for the candidate. "We are confident to get more than 45,000 majority and even more as people are happy with the welfare schemes of the government," whip G. Srikanth Reddy observed.
The BJP has taken the bypoll seriously to prove its existence while the TD and Janasena are keeping away from polls. BJP state unit president Somu Veerraju led the campaign while several leaders including national leaders participated in the campaign for BJP candidate. Veerraju said people of Kadapa district were vexed with decades-long domination of the YSR family and would teach a lesson to it in the bypoll.
The YSRC leaders unleashed a scathing attack on the BJP for approaching TD leaders and cadres in the villages to be election agents as BJP had no cadres in the villages. Further, they also blamed TD leaders who were sold out to the BJP.
The YSRC high command set a target of a majority of more than 45,000 votes in the triangle fight. In addition, 13 more candidates of various parties including independents are in the fray.
In view of the bypoll, the Kadapa police diverted traffic from Badvel and directed lorries and other vehicles towards Vijayawada and other places to take diversion on Saturday on the day of polling.
At least 3,000 cops including three companies of CISF and CRPF forces are deputed for the polling bandobust. SP Anburajan said at least 10 police would be kept at each polling station to avoid untoward incidents.