A severe shortage of polling agents are being faced by parties like the Jana Dena Party, The BJP and the Congress, for the election day. The districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam in northern Andhra have 34 assembly and 5 Lok Sabha constituencies. Visakhapatnam rural has over 2,200 polling stations, out of which 630 are in Paderu and Araku Valley, both Scheduled Tribe reserved constituencies with critical polling.
“Many parties are now facing problems in appointing polling agents, not only in tribal areas like Paderu, Araku, Palakonda, Kurupam, Parvathipuram, Saluru and other parts northern Andhra, but also in constituencies in the plains,” said Rama Rao Dora, a Girijan leader in Paderu.
The congress had faced a major loss of leaders and Cadre after the bifurcation of the state in 2013. This was a party that once commanded over 40%, and now has very limited members in its committee. They even face problems with announcing candidates. “We have candidates, but in some areas we are facing the problem of polling agents. Not only Congress, BJP too facing the same problems,” said Sudhakar, a Congress leader. The BJP had a strong hold in Visakhapatnam till they were in an alliance with the TDP. It had lost its charm once the alliance fizzled out. When the National President Amit Shah had visited Palasa, it was a great debacle as there was a poor turnout, and the leaders were discouraged.