Warangal Bypoll springs no surprise
The voting for the Warangal Lok Sabha by-election, which started on a rousing note on Saturday morning with the administration offering a bouquet of flowers for the first voter at every polling booth, an innovative concept to attract the voters, hasn’t made any revelations compared to voters’ turnout in 2014 election.
The voter turnout which the authorities put at 68.59 per cent is much lower than that of 2014 election where the percentage was little over 75 per cent. In spite of the low percentage, it’s observed that the Saturday’s turnout was said to be a significant one for a by-poll as this election has no compelling reason for people to react.
With cotton picking and paddy harvesting in full swing, the farmers didn’t show that much of interest to cast their vote. Moreover, the overcast conditions for the last 24 hours put the farming community on toes to save their standing crops.
With Sunday to follow, it appeared that the urban voters skipped the voting to have a two-day holiday, it’s observed.
While the Parkal Assembly constituency, won by the Telugu Desam’s Challa Dharma Reddy, recorded highest voting percentage with 76.69, the Warangal West seat, presumed to be more highly educated compared to people in other constituencies under the Parliamentary constituency, stood lost as only 48.03 voters have shown interest to exercise their franchise. It may be mentioned here that though Dharma Reddy won on TDP ticket, he has been with the TRS. The low voting percentage in Warangal West, which mustered almost 55,000-majority to the TRS compared to other party candidates, could be a setback for the ruling party.
The Palakurthy Assembly seat, represented by TDP’s Errabelly Dayakar Rao, which recorded 76.40 per cent voting, could be an advantage for the BJP-TDP alliance candidate P Devaiah, party sources said.
The high voter turnout in Station Ghanpur and Wardhannapet Assembly segments, which recorded a poll percentage of 75.55 and 71.16, respectively, could be an advantage for the TRS as these constituencies have been held by the ruling party legislators.
Bhupalapally, which is also held by the TRS, has registered 70.10 voting percentage. The other Assembly segment under the Lok Sabha constituency – Warangal East, held by the TRS, has witnessed a poll percentage of 62.21.
Responding on the low voter turnout, TPCC Working President Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka told The Hans India: “This election was uncalled-for. Despite the misuse of power by the ruling party, the Congress will be able to post a facile win.”
Senior BJP leader and former Mayor T Rajeshwara Rao said: “We didn’t expect more than 60 per cent voting percentage. The reason behind the increase was TRS as it circulated no less Rs 15 crore in just one day to influence the people to come to polling centres and vote for them.”
Left Parties-backed Prof Vinod Kumar said: “The people had shown no interest as it was an imposed election. The low turnout of voters will have an impact on the TRS.”
Incidentally, the eventual winner of 2014 election Kadiyam Srihari got majority votes in all the seven Assembly segments though the TDP had managed to win Palakurthy and Parkal seats. He then got a whopping majority of 3.92 lakh.