Hyderabad: The ruling Telangana Rastra Samiti (TRS) party hopes came alive following record 88 percent polling, the highest in the past three elections, in the Nagarjunasagar Assembly by-polls on Saturday (April 17th).
Heavy voter turnout was recorded in Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly by-polls on Saturday (April 17). A record 88 percent polling was registered till 7 pm when the polling ended. This is said to be the biggest turnout in the history of this constituency compared to the previous times, which saw 86.62 percent polling in 2018.
High voter turnouts are not uncommon in this constituency. The predominantly rural platform had witnessed over 80 percent polling in the last two consecutive elections after the formation of Telangana State.
The polling began on a brisk note in the morning and continued to see voters turn out in large numbers throughout the day. By 11 am, 31 percent voter turnout was recorded, which increased to 53 percent by 1 pm.
Telangana's chief electoral officer Shashank Goyal visited polling stations in the Pylon colony and Hill colony of the constituency to personally take stock of the polling activities and ensured Covid protocols are in place.
While polling was held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the last hour of polling was kept open for Covid patients.
The bypoll was necessitated by the death of MLA Nomula Narasimhaiah of the ruling TRS. In 2018, TRS candidate Nomula Narasimhaiah had won with a majority of 7,726 votes over Congress candidate K. Jana Reddy, and TRS is confident that Narasimhaiah's son Bhagat will surpass his father's margin of victory.
As many as 41 candidates, including three women, are contesting in the Nagarjuna Sagar By-polls. The counting of the votes will take place on May 2. The results will be declared on May 2nd itself.
TRS leaders said higher polling percentage in MLC elections had worked in favor of TRS and the same will be repeated in Nagarjunasagar. TRS leaders claim that the reason behind the higher poll percentage was due to the success of the party's 'micro-level booth management', under which the party has appointed an in-charge for every 20 voters.
A survey of the votes cast in the constituency in every election that could predict the winner of a party called Mission Chanakya was used even in this election. Mission Chanakya, which predicted BJP victory in the 2020 Dubbak Assembly bypoll, TRS victory in 2018 Assembly polls, and 2020 GHMC polls correctly, observed that TRS has an edge over its rivals in Nagarjunasagar in the current Nagarjuna Sagar by-poll. It made these observations after interacting with a voter-base of about 80,000 voters.
"It was found that there was no anti-establishment wave against TRS. Nagarjunasagar is predominantly an agriculture-based constituency where 90 percent of voters are farmers, and the TRS government's pro-farmer policies and schemes helped it to garner the majority support. Besides, there was 'institutional support' for TRS, which Congress and others lacked," said Shiv Keshav Amuka from Mission Chanakya.
"The reports obtained from our cadre from all areas in the constituency indicate that there was a positive vote in favor of TRS and we are confident of surpassing the 2018 majority," TRS in-charge for Nagarjunasagar bypoll and MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy said, expressing her confidence that the party will retain the seat with a higher majority compared to the previous election.