Hyderabad: As expected, YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party on Friday swept the crucial Andhra Pradesh by-polls by winning 15 out of 18 Assembly constituencies and the Nellore Lok Sabha seat, polling for which were held recently.
The consolation for ruling Congress came from Narasapuram and Ramachandrapuram. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) bagged one seat, while the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) drew a blank.
The counting of votes began at 8 am today amid tight security in the constituencies spread over 12 districts. About 70 percent polling was recorded in Nellore and an average 80 percent in the 18 assembly constituencies in the by-elections held Tuesday.
The by-elections were caused by the resignation of one member of parliament and disqualification of 18 legislators of the Congress party who had switched loyalties to the YSRCP.
Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy of the YSRCP retained Nellore Lok Sabha seat with a massive majority of more than 290,000 votes over his nearest rival and former central minister T Subbarami Reddy of the Congress party.
The Congress drew solace from the fact that it escaped a total humiliation by retaining two seats. This will improve the ruling party's slender majority in the 294-member house. With two seats its tally has now gone up to 154. TRS managed to scrape through in Parkala, the only assembly seat which went to poll in the Telangana region. In a neck and neck battle, TRS candidate Bhikshapati defeated YSRCP's Konda Surekha by over 800 seats. Surekha, who was trailing at fourth position till the 14th round of counting, gave a good fight to TRS.
YSRCP received a jolt with the defeat of its top leaders P Subhash Chandra Bose and Konda Surekha. Both were ministers in the YSR cabinet and had switched loyalties to YSRCP. Subhash Chandra Bose lost from Ramachandrapuram constituency in East Godavari district.
Former minister K Subbarayudu of Congress party won Narsapuram seat in West Godavari district.
Congress won a seat each in East Godavari and West Godavari districts in coastal Andhra but lost seven other seats in the region.
The prominent winners from YSRCP include B Sreenivas Reddy, a relative of the YSR family who was also minister in the YSR cabinet, Gurunath Reddy, Chenna Keshav Reddy, Srikanth Reddy and Dharmana Krishna Das, brother of state minister Dharmana Prasada Rao.
Jagan, as the YSRCP leader is popularly known, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and sent to jail on May 27 in an illegal assets case when he was busy campaigning for the party.
His mother Y.S. Vijayamma and sister Sharmila managed to evoke sympathy by accusing Congress and TDP of targeting Jagan.
Vijayamma even pointed finger at the Congress party by raising doubts over the cause of the Sep 2, 2009, helicopter crash in which her husband and the then chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was killed.
Jagan and Vijayamma had quit Congress party and Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula assembly seats, respectively, in late 2010 accusing the Congress of trying to split their family. They floated the YSRCP promising to implement the pro-poor schemes launched by YSR.
They retained their respective seats with massive majority in the by-elections held last year.
In March this year, YSRCP also won Kovur assembly seat in Nellore district in the by-election necessitated by the resignation of the sitting TDP legislator.
With Agency Input
First Published: Friday, June 15, 2012, 08:27