Complaints of EVM glitches in nearly 50 booths : AP Elections

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Andhra Pradesh votes today to elect lawmakers to 175 Assembly and 25 Parliament seats in the first full-fledged elections since its bifurcation in 2014.

The total number of voters in Andhra Pradesh is 39,341,770 of which 19,462,339 are men and 19,879,421 women.

Andhra Pradesh votes today to elect lawmakers to 175 Assembly and 25 Parliament seats in the first full-fledged elections since its bifurcation in 2014.

The total number of voters in Andhra Pradesh is 39,341,770 of which 19,462,339 are men and 19,879,421 women.

In many places electronic voting machines (EVMs) had glitches resulting in some delay in polling, an official said.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his family voted at a polling station in Undavalli village in the state capital region Amaravati. His son Nara Lokesh is the TDP candidate from Mangalagiri Assembly segment that covers Undavalli.

YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy cast his vote in his native Pulivendula in Kadapa district, from where he is seeking re-election.

State Chief Electoral Officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi cast his vote in Tadepalli and said there were complaints about technical glitches in EVMs in nearly 50 places. Technical teams were on the job to rectify the defects and enable polling, he said.

The fight is clearly between the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) with Jana Sena leader and actor Pawan Kalyan likely to emerge as the X factor in this tight battle.

Chandrababu Naidu is going it alone without the BJP after their bitter divorce over the special category status to the state. YSRCP leader Jaganmohan Reddy is going it alone too

The Congress and BJP are also contesting but look like backbenchers in this fight.

In the run-up, Naidu tried to give his campaign the feel of a grand alliance by bringing in West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee , National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to hold meetings and roadshows.

Naidu has capitalised on the corruption cases on Jagan, also insinuating that he is backed by the BJP, which denied Andhra the special status. ‘Your future is my responsibility’, has been Naidu’s battle cry.

His son Nara Lokesh debuts in these elections, standing from Mangalagiri in the capital Amaravati region.

Jagan has drawn big crowds with his mother Y S Vijayamma and sister Y S Sharmila by his side. He has promised to bring back ‘Rajanna Rajyam’ – a reference to his father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s tenure as chief minister during which he introduced many welfare schemes.

TDP has an edge in coastal Andhra whil YSRCP hopes to do better in Rayalaseema.

But the dark horse to watch out for would be Pawan Kalyan. In 2014, Pawan Kalyan had campaigned for the BJP-TDP alliance but is now making his political debut with the Bahujan Samaj Party, CPI and CPI(M). Analysts feel he may eat in the BJP and TDP’s voteshare in seats where the population of his community, the Kapus, is high.

Pawan Kalyan is contesting two Assembly constituencies -- Bhimavaram and Gajuwaka.

In 2014, TDP had won 102 seats and its then alliance partner BJP won 4. YSRCP emerged the only opposition with 67 seats. Interestingly, the YSRCP polled less than two per cent votes than the TDP-BJP combine.

Out of 25 Lok Sabha seats, TDP got 15 seats while BJP got two. YSRCP got eight.

The Congress was completely wiped out last time as it bore the brunt of the bifurcation of Telengana by the UPA government. From above 50 per cent in 2004, its vote share dropped to an all-time low of 2.8 per cent in 2014.
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