VIJAYAWADA: Results of elections to the Graduates and Teachers’ MLC seats have brought cheer for both YSRC and Opposition TDP. After winning the North Andhra Graduates’ MLC seat on Friday night, the TDP continued its winning streak and won the remaining two Graduates’ constituencies of West and East Rayalaseema.
In Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor, TDP’s Kancharla Srikanth Choudhary was declared victorious by 34,110 votes against his rival Pernati Shyamprasad Reddy of YSRC after second priority vote counting.
In West Rayalaseema, the ruling party has claimed a big win in the two Teachers’ constituencies. However, Anantapur-Kurnool-Kadapa Graduates’ seat was embroiled in a controversy. While YSRC’s V Raveendra Reddy maintained lead from the first round of counting that started on March 16, he did not exceed 2,000.
With none of the candidates getting a clear majority, the officials started counting of second preference votes on Saturday. Following this, tables turned in favour of TDP’s B Ramgopal Reddy as votes of BJP, PDF and independents went in his favour.
As soon as the result was out, YSRC’s Raveendra Reddy and former MLA K Visweswara Reddy staged a protest alleging lapses in counting and demanded recounting. The party shot off a letter to the Chief Election Commission and AP Chief Electoral Officer.
In the letter, they stated that they noticed transfer of YSRC votes to TDP bundles, which was later re-transferred. Demanding the votes be counted again, they alleged that there might be irregularities during the counting.
Defeat in East Rayalaseema was shocking for the YSRC as it has a stronghold in the region with 32 legislators off the 36 Assembly constituencies falling under the graduates MLC seat. The party had formed a committee for enrolling graduates as voters, particularly in urban areas such as Nellore, Tirupati, Ongole and other major areas in the MLC Assembly constituency.
Opposition leaders criticised that the YSRC, which tried to show its might by winning both Graduates and Teachers MLC seats in the East Rayalaseema region, fell flat on its face due to anti-incumbency.
Though Energy Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, who is also Rayalaseema regional coordinator for the party, monitored the election campaign, the ruling party has failed to attract graduate voters.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, too, wrote a letter to the election commission to declare the party candidate’s win from the West Rayalaseema graduats’ seat. Undeterred by the defeat in graduates’ MLC elections, YSRC general secretary and Government Advisor (Public Affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said the voters constitue a minor section of the society and that majority of the graduates are not beneficiaries of their welfare schemes.
“The MLC election results do not reflect anti-incumbency. In fact, we pulled a great victory by winning the two teachers’ constituencies in the MLC elections for the first time,” he pointed out.
Congratulating the three winning candidates, Naidu tweeted, “I salute to the leaders and activists who have stood tall against the atrocities of the YSRC during the elections. This is a victory of the people and an indication of change. It is a good omen for the State.”
In a letter to the Chief Election Commission and Chief Electoral Officer of Andhra Pradesh, the YSRC stated that they noticed transfer of YSRC votes to TDP bundles, which was later re-transferred. Demanding the votes be counted again, they alleged that there might be irregularities during the counting