Hyderabad/Ranchi: The bypolls to Nellore Lok Sabha constituency and 26 Assembly seats spread across eight states passed off peacefully barring a few stray incidents of stone throwing and group clashes among cadres of political parties.
This is the first poll held under the direct supervision of Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath, who assumed office on Monday.
The counting of votes will be taken up on June 15.
In Andhra Pradesh, where the election was held for the Nellore Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly constituencies, the polling was 70 per cent in Nellore and 80 per cent in the Assembly segments.
The 18 seats of AP bypolls is crucial for the ruling Congress and arrested YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
Considered to be semi-finals for the next assembly elections to be held in 2014, the bypolls in Andhra Pradesh are expected to test the popularity of the son of the late CM YS Rajashekara Reddy, whose fledgling political outfit is contesting all the 18 seats--17 in Rayalseema and coastal Andhra and one in Telangana.
For the YSR Congress, the by-elections marked by a high decibel campaign have become very crucial as it had fielded all 17 MLAs who had been disqualified for defying the Congress party whip in the assembly and their victory could be a threat to the Congress government, which is surviving with a razor thin majority.
As against the magic figure of 148 MLAs in the 294-member assembly, the Congress has just 151 MLAs at present.
"We are confident that we will make an impact. We will put up a good show," Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi and AICC in-charge of AP told reporters in Hyderabad.
The 18 assembly constituencies in AP are Tirupati, Allagadda, Rajampet, Rayachoti, Parkal, Ongole, Narsamapeta, Payakaraopet (SC), Anantapur Urban, Yemmiganur, Rayadurg, Kodur (SC), Udayagiri, Narasapuram, Prathipadu (SC), Ramachandrapuram, Macherla and Polavaram (ST) in Andhra Pradesh. Only Parkal is in Telangana region.
The approximate voters’ turnout in other constituencies was: Madhya Pradesh – Maheshwar (SC) (72 %); West Bengal – Daspur and Bankura (70%); Uttar Pradesh – Mant (60%); Tamil Nadu – Pudukottai (70%); and Maharashtra – Kaij (SC) (58%).
With PTI inputs