CHITTOOR/NELLORE: The high stakes ballot battle between the opposition TDP and the ruling YSRC to win the Kuppam municipality came to an end on Monday and the election result will be announced on Wednesday. It is the maiden election after Kuppam, a bastion of TDP supremo Nara Chandrababu Naidu, was upgraded from Nagar Panchayat to Grade 3 municipality.
Both the YSRC and TDP took the Kuppam municipal election as a prestigious issue and left no stone unturned to bag the civic body. It witnessed an intensive campaign for 24 wards in the civic body. Both the YSRC and TDP leaders accused each other of indulging in electoral malpractices.
Tension prevailed in the town for sometime when TDP activists staged a protest on the highway alleging that the YSRC leaders mobilised people from Punganur, Anantapur and other Rayalaseema districts and Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu to cast bogus votes in the municipal election. They even intercepted a bus, which allegedly brought outsiders to Kuppam.
The municipality recorded the highest polling of 76.49% among the civic bodies that went to polls in the State on Monday. As many as 28,808 votes were polled in the municipal election.
50% voter turnout in NMC election
Accusing the YSRC of committing all sorts of irregularities in the municipal election, TDP chief and Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu advised the State Election Commissioner and other officials to quit their posts instead of colluding with the ruling party. Refuting the TDP charge, Government Advisor (Public Affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy alleged that Naidu was spreading lies to cover up the imminent defeat of his party in Kuppam.
Speaking to the media, he slammed Naidu for spreading false information on Kuppam election though polling went off peacefully. He asserted that there was no need for the YSRC to cast bogus votes to win the Kuppam municipality as people are in favour of the YSRC government for its welfare schemes and development programmes.
The voter turnout in the Nellore Municipal Corporation poll was moderate. It recorded 50.01% of votes in 46 divisions of the corporation till 5 pm. Tension prevailed for some time when heated arguments took place between YSRC activists and TDP leader Sk Abdul Aziz over alleged electoral malpractices committed by the rul ing and oppos i t ion parties.
The BJP alleged that YSRC leaders entered polling booths in Buchireddypalem in violation of election guidelines. The Nagar Panchayat recorded 55.44% polling till 3 pm. Elections were also held to Akiveedu, Jaggaiahpet, Kondapalli, Dachepalli, Gurajala, Dar s i , Be thamcherl a , Kamalapuram, Rajampet and Penukonda civic bodies.