Andhra, Odisha gear up for Assembly polls in phase 4; tight security in place

Elections will be held in 175 Assembly seats in Andhra and 28 seats in Odisha

INDIA-ELECTION/PREPS Polling officials carrying election materials including Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) disembark a ferry upon reaching their designated polling station in a remote area of Jantri village | Reuters

Andhra Pradesh and Odisha will hold elections for their Legislative Assemblies along with the Lok Sabha polls on Monday in phase four of the elections. While voting will be held in all 175 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh, as many as 28 legislative assembly seats of Odisha are also going to polls in this phase.

Andhra Pradesh witnesses a three-pronged fight involving the ruling YSRC, Congress-led INDIA bloc and the NDA, comprising the BJP, Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP and Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena Party (JSP). Prominent names in the fray for the Assembly include YSRCP president Jagan Mohan Reddy, TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu (Kuppam) and Janasena chief and actor Pawan Kalyan (Pithapuram), among others.

The YSRCP is contesting in all 175 Assembly seats and 25 Lok Sabha segments in the state. As part of a seat-sharing deal among NDA partners, the TDP was allocated 144 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha constituencies while the BJP will contest from six Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats. The Janasena will contest in 21 Assembly seats. 

The YSR Congress hopes to retain power riding on the welfare measures it implemented over the last five years. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the YSRCP had won 22 seats while TDP was reduced to just 3.

Jagan asserted that he is no ‘Abhimanyu’ to succumb to the alleged political conspiracies plotted by the opposition parties, likening himself to 'Arjun' who is accompanied by Lord Krishna-like people to emerge triumphant. The NDA hopes to highlight the "failures" of the state government and has given multiple guarantees, including jobs if voted to power. 

For the smooth conduct of the polls, the Election Commission has deployed 1.06 lakh security personnel, who included 3,500 Karnataka police, 4,500 Tamil Nadu police, 1,614 ex-servicemen and 246 retired police personnel, among others.


Voting will be held in the 28 assembly segments coming under the jurisdiction of Berhampur, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituencies. The BJD, Congress and the BJP are contesting in all the constituencies, while nominees of some small and regional parties along with independent candidates are in the fray. 

State ministers Jagannath Saraka, Rajendra Dholkia, Odisha Congress chief Sarat Patnaik, and Congress leader Bhakta Charan Das are in the fray in assembly polls. Congress MLAs Taraprasad Bahinipati and Adhiraj Panigrahi, former chief secretary Bijay Patnaik, ex-minister DS Mishra, former leader of opposition Pradipta Naik, former MLA Ramesh Chandra Chayupattnaik are trying their luck in the assembly elections.

This election witnessed a massive campaign in Odisha with Prime Minister Narendra Modi targetting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, despite both parties enjoying warm relations over the last many years.  

The four Lok Sabha seats are spread over six Maoist-affected police districts - Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Nuapada and Kalahandi - and three other police districts of Ganjam, Berhampur and Gajapati, Odisha DGP Arun Kumar Sarangi said.

Arrangements for webcasting have been made in 60 per cent of the 7,303 polling stations. Over 1,264 polling stations, including all booths in Maoist-affected areas, have been identified as critical ones, the CEO said.

(With PTI inputs) 

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