Hyderabad:Riding on the sympathy wave in the wake of its leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s arrest, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) appears to be headed for a clean sweep in the by-elections to the Nellore Lok Sabha and 18 assembly seats.
The counting of votes began at 8 a.m. amid tight security in the constituencies spread over 12 districts. About 70 percent polling was recorded in Nellore and an average 80 percent in the assembly constituencies.YSRCP bagged the Yemmiganur assembly seat, while leading in Nellore and 14 assembly constituencies. The ruling Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) were ahead on one seat each.
In Yemmiganur in Kurnool district, YSRCP candidate K. Chenna Keshav Reddy was elected with a huge majority of over 17,000 votes.
The by-elections were caused by the resignation of one member of parliament and disqualification of 17 legislators of the Congress party who had switched loyalties to the YSRCP. The Tirupati assembly seat fell vacant after the election of actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi to the Rajya Sabha.
Jagan, as the YSRCP leader is popularly known, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and sent to jail on May 27 in an illegal assets case when he was busy campaigning for the party. His mother Y.S. Vijayamma and sister Sharmila managed to evoke sympathy by accusing Congress and TDP of targeting Jagan.Vijayamma even pointed finger at Congress party by raising her doubts over the cause of the Sep 2, 2009 helicopter crash which killed her husband and then chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
Jagan and Vijayamma had quit Congress party and Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula assembly seats respectively in late 2010 accusing Congress of trying to split their family. They floated the YSRCP promising to implement the pro-poor schemes launched by YSR.They retained the seats with a massive majority in the by-elections held last year. In March this year, YSRCP also won Kovur assembly seat in Nellore district in the by-election caused by the resignation of TDP legislator.