Hyderabad: Ruling YSR Congress party in Andhra Pradesh has retained the Badvel assembly seat in Kadapa district in the by-elections, polling for which was held on October 30 and the counting of votes took place on Tuesday.
YSRCP candidate Dr Dasari Sudha was declared elected from Badvel with a huge margin of nearly 90,411 votes over his nearest rival Panathala Suresh of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The by-election was necessitated with the death of Sudha’s husband and sitting MLA Dr Gunthoti Venkata Subbaiah due to brief illness in March this year.
At the end of the completion of scheduled rounds of counting, Dr Sudha secured 1,12,072 votes, as against 21,661 votes polled by the BJP candidate. Congress candidate, former MLA P M Kamalamma, finished poor third with 6,217 votes.
The victory margin may slightly go up with the counting of VVPAT slips of randomly selected five EVMs. Both the BJP and the Congress candidates have lost their deposits.
There was no doubt about the victory of YSRCP in Badvel by-poll right from the beginning, because the party had been representing the constituency since the bifurcation of combined Andhra Pradesh in June 2014. Moreover, Kadapa in general has been the bastion of YSRCP president and chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s family for several decades. His father and former Congress chief minister late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy reigned supreme in the district during his regime.
The entire focus was on how big the margin of victory would be for the YSRCP in Badvel. In the 2019 assembly elections, YSRCP candidate Venkata Subbaiah secured a majority of around 45,000 votes over then Telugu Desam Party candidate Obulapuram Rajasekhar.
This time, the YSRC expected that the margin of victory would be more than one lakh for Dr Sudha, as the TDP opted out of the contest on the ground that it would uphold the tradition of not fielding candidates against spouses of deceased sitting MLAs. Jana Sena Party led by actor Pawan Kalyan, too, abstained from contest.
The BJP and the Congress contested the elections but they lacked enough strength to fight the YSRC in the by-election. However, the YSRC candidate got little less than one lakh votes majority, due to fall in poll percentage and the BJP candidate, too, polled over 21,000 votes with the support of the TDP and BJP voters.
Several BJP leaders including state party president Somu Veerraju, BJP national general secretary Daggubati Purandeshwari, BJP national in-charge of AP Sunil Deodhar, MPs C M Ramesh and G V L Narasimha Rao and BJP state secretary Satya Kumar campaigned for the BJP candidate.
Party president and chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy stayed away from campaign but wrote open letters to all the voters asking them to give a huge majority to YSRCP candidate in the by-election.