Riding on sympathy, Congress retains Andhra assembly seat

Riding on sympathy, Congress retains Andhra assembly seat

K. Bharati, whose husband K. Revatipathy died in June necessitating the elections, defeated K. Atchan Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) by 7,173 votes.
The Congress polled 59,250 votes while the TDP got 52,077. Actor-politician Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam  Party (PRP) finished a poor third with 17,858 votes.
About 76 percent of the 178,000 voters had cast their votes in Sep 10 by-election.
The death of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in a helicopter crash on Sep 2 seemed to have added to the empathy factor for Bharati. Her husband Revatipathi, who was elected in the April 16 election, died of a cardiac arrest on June 2, a day before he was to take oath as legislator.

Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, son of the late chief minister, had also made an appeal to the voters in Tekkali, in Srikakulam district, to pay their real tributes to YSR, as he was popularly known, by voting for the Congress party.
Jaganmohan Reddy thanked the people of Tekkali for electing Bharati.  
Revenue Minister Dharmana Prasad Rao added that the people had paid their tributes to YSR by electing the Congress and hoped that the result would further strengthen the ruling party in  north coastal Andhra.

TDP's senior leader and Atchan Naidu's elder brother K. Yerran Naidu termed the result  a moral victory for TDP. He said despite the sympathy for the Congress party, TDP had significantly improved its position.

Both the Congress and the TDP improved their positions compared to the April elections at the cost of PRP. In the last elections, Congress had won the seat by 1,893 votes. The ruling party had polled 47,513 votes while TDP bagged 45,620. PRP had then performed well with 36,552 votes.

This time, PRP candidate D. Srinivas could not even save his deposit. The party attributed the defeat to the fact that Chiranjeevi could not actively campaign following the death of the chief minister.

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