Khammam (Telangana), May 16: Thirteen candidates were contesting the Palair Assembly by-election in Khammam district of Telangana on Monday (May 16). Over 1.9 lakh voters were due cast their ballots in the election. Nine out of the 13 candidates are Independents.
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The bypoll is a prestige battle between Congress's R Sucharita Reddy, backed by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress; T Nageswara Rao of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and P Sudarshan Rao of the CPI(M) who has been backed by the CPI.
Rao is the state's minister for roads and buildings.
The bypoll was necessitated following the passing away of the sitting MLA, Ramreddy Venkat Reddy, of the Congress. Sucharita is the widow of the deceased Congressman. The TDP and YSR Congress decided not to field their candidates and are supporting the Congress candidate. The BJP is not contesting this by-election.
The Congress is hoping that the "sympathy wave" would do the trick for it in this bypoll. The TRS, on the other hand, is eyeing to wrest the seat from the Congress by banking on the development agenda. The Left, on the other hand, is relying on the past record in spearheading people's movement to bag the seat.
Voting is being held in 243 polling stations and of them, 74 were identified as sensitive and 68 as hyper-sensitive. Almost 2,700 polling personnel were deployed for the bypoll. It was also for the first time in the state's Assembly election that VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) devices were used in all the polling stations.
Bypoll in Arunachal deferred
The by-election to Kanubari (ST) Assembly constituency in Arunachal Pradesh was deferred by the Election Commission in view of a review petition listed for hearing in the Supreme Court on July 11.
The EC said the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct would remain in abeyance until further orders.
Tony Pertin, advocate for the petitioners---D Wangsu and Wanglam Sawin---had urged the Chief Election Commissioner to withdraw the by-election notification because of the pendency of the review petition.
The states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry also went to polls on Monday. The results of the polls will be declared on May 19, along with those in West Bengal and Assam.