AP by-elections: Congress leads in first round

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Hyderabad, Jun 1: The Congress party is leading in four Assembly seats in the counting of votes for Andhra Pradesh by-election to four Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly Constituencies, which started this morning amid tight security. The counting began at 8.00 am at 20 counting centres in 10 Districts.

As per the initial trends, the ruling Congress was leading in four Assembly seats, while Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) that lined the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) were leading in four constituencies each. Meanwhile, fierce three-corner contest is on in other constituencies. The by polls were held on May 29. Around 92 lakh people are expected to decide the fate of 174 candidates, including 29 for Lok Sabha and 15 women, who are in the fray. Except Therlam Assembly constituency, which is in Vizianagaram Coastal District, the four Lok Sabha and 17 Assembly constituencies are in Telangana region. The enmasse resignation for the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats by the public representatives of Telengana Rastra Samithi (TRS) and the death of two sitting MLAs have necessitated the by-election even less than an year before the general election.

The TRS representatives have resigned demanding separate statehood for Telengana region. Tight security arrangements have been made for conducting peaceful bye-elections. Over 63,000 policemen, including armed reserve police personnel, have been deployed on election duty.

A total of 965 villages have been identified as hyper-sensitive, 1,683 as sensitive and 1,025 as extremist-affected and inaccessible villages out of the 4,965 villages in the constituencies going to polls.

Besides providing 800 cellphones to senior-level police officers and 5,558 Very High Frequency sets to facilitate uninterrupted radio communication to the police personnel on election duty, 958 mobile teams, 302 striking forces and 148 special striking forces have been set up.

ANI

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