In a communication to the YSR Congress, the poll panel made it clear that the votes polled for the deceased candidate will not be treated as votes cast for NOTA (None of the above) option. It also dismissed the view that even if the deceased gets highest number of votes, the candidate with maximum number of votes among the remaining contestants will be declared elected.
Shobha, a candidate of YSR Congress from Allagadda in Kurnool district, died in a road accident last Thursday. However, the Election Commission did not countermand the election as YSR Congress is not a recognized party.
As her name was already included on the ballot paper, she remained a contesting candidate. State's chief electoral officer Bhanwarlal had earlier stated that votes polled for Shobha would have no validity and that they would be treated as votes for NOTA option.
The Election Commission's clarification came as a relief for YSR Congress, which was left without a candidate in the constituency.
Allagadda is one of the 175 assembly seats in Seemandhra going to polls on May 7.