Stage set for AP bypolls

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Hyderabad, May 28 (UNI) The stage is set for the crucial byelections tomorrow to four Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh, considered as an 'acid test' for major political parties ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

Over 92.64 lakh voters, including 46.45 lakh women, are expected to exercise their franchise from over 9000 polling stations, including 797 all-women polling stations in the constituencies to decide the electoral fortunes of 29 MPs and 145 MLAs.

''The election machinery is fully geared up to hold the elections in a free and fair manner,'' State Chief Electoral Officer I V Subba Rao told reporters.

As many as 63,093 police personnel and 150 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the poll-bound areas including 965 hyper sensitive, 1,683 sensitive, 54 troublesome and 1,025 naxal-infested villages.

While the byelections to four Lok Sabha and 16 Assembly seats were caused by the en masse resignation of Telangana Rashtra Samiti members on the issue of statehood for Telangana region, two other Assembly seats fell vacant following the death of sitting Khairatabad Congress Legislator P Janardhan Reddy in the city and TDP Therlam MLA T Jayaprakash in North Coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Prominent MP candidates in the fray include Former Union Labour Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is contesting from Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat, Former Roads and Buildings Minister K Jeevan Reddy, who quit his post to fight the bypoll and Former Union Minister of State K Venugopalachary (TDP) who is pitted against TRS candidate T Madhusudan Reddy and Congress MLA A Indirakiran Reddy.

The bypolls will also decide the electoral fortunes of Former TRS Ministers G K Vijayarama Rao (Ghanpur), V Lakshmikanta Rao (Huzurabad), T Harish Rao (Siddipet), N Narasimha Reddy (Musheerabad) and A Chandrasekar (Vikarabad), former TDP Ministers T Srinivas Yadav (Secunderabad), K Srihari(Ghanpur), M Narasimhulu (Alair), M Venkateswara Rao (Dichpali), E Peddireddy (Huzurabad) and State Government's Special Representative in New Delhi, Mallu Ravi (Jadcherla).

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