The 80% voter turnout in the 18 assembly constituencies and 76% in the lone Lok Sabha seat of Andhra Pradesh are in keeping with the expectation of punters that people are in a mood for a change.
And if there is a change, it is bound to favour YSJaganmohan Reddy, the erstwhile Congressman who broke away from the party to form the YSR Congress, in memory of his father, YS Rajasekhara Reddy, chief minister from 2004 to 2009 until he died in a chopper crash.
The Congress is on the defensive. Vijayawada MP Lagadpati Rajgopal, a Congressman, said soon after the polling was over: “The Congress will win between one and three seats, the TDP two and the YSR Congress 12-15.”
He said the Jaganmohan factor might not work in Telangana and the Parkal seat there might go to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the pro-Telangana party of K Chandrasekhar Rao.
He also said the performance of the YSR Congress would not be good in Kadapa district, considered the fortress of the Reddy family.
What is remarkable about this election is the large participation of women voters. A similar large turnout of women in 1983 had sealed the fate of the Congress and brought actor NT Rama Rao and his fledgling Telugu Desam Party to power.
Jaganmohan has been carefully nursing this segment through his statewide tours and also by pressing in his mother, an MLA, and sister in the last days of the campaign.
Vijayakanth VS Jaya in Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu actor Vijayakanth’s DMDK is taking on former ally and CM J Jayalalithaa’s party, AIADMK, in a direct fight for an assembly seat that fell vacant due to the death of the CPI legislator from Pudukottai.
The contest became direct after the DMK and other parties boycotted the election, alleging they would not get justice from the Election Commission.
The DMK had alleged the AIADMK, the ruling party, was misusing the government machinery. Polling was peaceful.
Bengal, Tripura see high turnout
In West Bengal, around 67% of the electorate voted in the byelection in Bankura while the figure was 73% in Daspur, officials said, adding that polling was peaceful.
Similarly incident-free was the byelection to the assembly constituency in Tripura.
With inputs from PTI