Hyderabad, May 29: Polling began amidst tight security in the by-elections to four Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh at 0700 hrs today.
Over 90 lakh voters, including 46.45 lakh women, were expected to excercise their franchise from over 9,000 polling stations, including 797 women polling stations, in these constituencies to decide the electoral fortunes of 29 MPs and 145 MLAs.
As many as 63,093 police personnel and 150 companies of Paramilitary forces were deployed in the poll-bound areas, including 965 hypersensitive, 1,683 sensitive, 54 troublesome and 1,025 naxalite-accected villages.
While the by-elections to four Lok Sabha and 16 Assembly seats were caused by the en-masse resignation of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) 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 Therlam MLA T Jayaprakash (TDP) in north coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Prominent MP candidates in the fray included former Union Labour Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who was facing in Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat, former State Roads and Building Minister K Jeevan Reddy, who had quit his post to fight the bypoll, and former Union Minister of State K Venugopalachary (TDP), who was pitted against TRS candidate T Madhusudan Reddy and Congress MLA A Indirakiran Reddy.
The bypolls would 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), A Chandrasekar (Vikarabad), foremr TDP Ministers T Srinivas Yadav (Secunderabad), K Srihar (Ghanpur), M Narasimhulu (Alair), M Venkateswara Rao (Dichpali), E Peddireddy (Huzurabad) and state government's special representative in New Delhi Mallu Ravi (Jadcherla).