Ruling Telugu Desam Party today dealt a blow to the opposition YSR Ccongress winning three seats of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council in the biennial elections from the Local Authorities Constituencies (LACs). With this, TDP makes a clean sweep of all the nine council seats from LACs that went to polls recently. The TDP nominees defeated YSRC candidates in Kadapa, Kurnool and SPS Nellore LACs, for which elections were held on March 17. The counting was taken up today. With this, the TDP has won all the nine Council seats from LACs, having already got its candidates elected unopposed from six LACs that went to polls earlier.
These are Srikakulam, East Godavari, West Godavari (two seats), Anantapuramu and Chittoor LACs. Members of Panchayat Raj institutions and urban local bodies form the electorate in LACs. The biggest shock for the YSRC came from its stronghold Kadapa where its candidate Y S Vivekananda Reddy was defeated by TDP's B Ravi by a margin of 34 votes. Vivekananda is uncle of YSRC president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and had earlier served as an MP, MLC and MLA for many terms. Kadapa is their home turf but the TDP, rather unexpectedly, got the better of Vivekananda. Stung by the defeat, the YSRC alleged that the ruling party "purchased" voters by spending over Rs 200 crore. "Chandrababu (TDP supremo and chief minister) has become an expert in buying votes and he excelled in it in this election," Jagan said, as news about the defeat of his uncle came. "Is this (buying votes) a victory ?" he asked. In Kurnool, TDP's sitting MLC Silpa Chakrapani Reddy got re-elected defeating Gouru Venkat Reddy of YSRC by a margin of 56 votes. In Nellore, Vakati Narayana Reddy, a who crossed over to TDP from the Congress, retained his LAC seat defeating Anam Vijaykumar Reddy of YSRC by a margin of 87 votes. The TDP heaved a sigh of relief after the results as the party feared of a possible "cross-voting" in Nellore. "The victory reflected the good performance of the government. It also denoted the growing strength of the party in the Rayalaseema region," TDP state president K Kala Venkata Rao said. Two of the incumbent MLCs will retire on March 29, while the term of seven others will end on May 1 which necessitated the biennial election.
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