The Chief Electoral Officer, Dr.I.V.Subbarao told media that there will be separate information booths in several urban areas to give prior information to voters about the existence of their names in the voter list. Election Watch would be involved in the task of providing information.
The mainstream political parties have started segment-wise analysis of the winning prospects of their party candidates in the first phase of elections.
All the parties are convinced that they will win majority of the seats in the first phase and have an upper hand in the second phase of elections which will be held on April 23.
Speculative reports in the regional media, based on poll trends gave a clear lead to the Grand Alliance led by the Telugu Desam. Out of the 154 Assembly seats, the reports suggest that the GA will get anywhere between 100 to 110 seats. The lead is attributed to the successful promotion of the colour TVs and Cash Transfer Schemes. The reports prompted the TD chief, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, to issue advertisements in select vernacular newspapers thanking voters for “reimposing the confidence in him and thanking them for helping the party win.”
He also said the new schemes announced by him had gone well in the polls. The TD chief told party leaders to focus on the remaining seats without being complacent. The internal assessment of the party was that it will win 80 out of the 154 Assembly seats. It requires another 70 to get a majority.
On account of these projections, several Congressmen contesting the second phase of elections, enquired from their counterparts in Telangana about the prospects of the party.
Meanwhile, sources in the intelligence department gave a report on the poll trends orally to the Chief Minister. It gave 18 to 20 seats to the Congress in the north coastal region, and 40-45 seats in the Telangana region. It projected that the GA would have a small edge over the Congress in the Telangana region, and gave 60 seats to the alliance and another six to eight seats in the north coastal area.
KEY CONSTITUENCY: Tirupati
This temple town has been in the political limelight ever since Telugu megastar Chiranjeevi decided to contest from this prestigious Tirupati Assembly constituency.
In fact, it was from here last August that Konidela Chiranjeevi launched his ‘Praja Rajyam Party’ to capture power in Andhra Pradesh on the twin planks of ‘social justice’ and ‘social security.’
Significantly, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder, the late N.T. Rama Rao, chose the same constituency to make his electoral debut in 1983, when he went on to break the Congress’ hegemony in the State.
Mr. Chiranjeevi is also contesting from Palacole in his native West Godavari district to satisfy ‘local sentiment,’ but says his candidature in Tirupati is to fulfil ‘divine sentiment.’
The entry of ‘Chiru,’ as he is fondly known by his fans, has pepped up what otherwise have been a sedate contest in a constituency in which the Congress and TDP have shared the honours almost equally.
With its four lakh population, the town is fast emerging as a major educational and economic hub. The burgeoning city has expanded so much that its peripheral areas have been delinked during delimitation exercise and annexed to the contiguous Chandragiri, once the capital of the Vijayanagara rulers.
Locking horns with the matinee idol are B. Karunakar Reddy of the Congress, a former Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam (TTD) Board Chairman and blue-eyed boy of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, and K. Sankar Reddy of the TDP, a close associate of former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and a former Tirupati Municipal Corporation chairperson. G. Bhanuprakash Reddy is the BJP candidate.
But for the ‘Chiru’ factor, the contest in Tirupati would otherwise be a neck and neck race between two formidable candidates of two equally formidable parties. Mr. Chiranjeevi is a huge crowd-puller; but it remains to be seen whether this will translate into votes.
The Congress and the TDP downplay the crowd factor as mere cinema glamour, but Chiru fans and members of his community — Balijas/Kapus who have thrown their lot behind him almost en masse — call it wishful thinking. Incidentally, the Balija community is the single largest in Tirupati, with 23,000 voters.
While Mr. Karunakar Reddy pins his hopes on the work he did for Tirupati-Tirumala as TTD Chairman, Mr. Sankar Reddy, the former civic chief, is confident that his developmental work will see him through.
Mr. Chiranjeevi’s image and the PRP’s hype has taken a beating in the last one week after resignations by senior party leaders alleging huge kickbacks in the allotment of party tickets to business tycoons. But, the ‘Chiru’ factor is too big to be ignored.
According to a countrywide survey conducted for The Week magazine, the UPA is expected to get 234 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections with Congress emerging as the single largest party with 144 seats.
The survey has projected 186 seats for the opposition NDA with BJP being victorious on 140 seats, while the Third Front will be cornering 112 seats.
The Week-CVoter survey projected senior BJP leader L K Advani as the best choice for the post of Prime Minister with the backing of 15 % of those interviewed followed closely by incumbent Manmohan Singh, who found favour with 14% participants.
Among the UPA ranks, the Congress has been predicted to win 144 seats followed by Samajwadi Party (32), NCP (13), DMK and allies (13), Trinamool Congress (11), RJD-LJP (15), UDF (2), National Conference (3) and JMM (1).
In the NDA, the BJP is projected to win 140 seats followed by JD(U) (18), Shiv Sena (12), Asom Gana Parishad (5), Akali Dal (5), RLD (4) and INLD (2).
Among the Third Front, Left parties are projected to win 33 seats followed by BSP (29), AIADMK and allies (24), TDP/TRS (14), BJD (9), JDS (2), HVM (1), Chiranjeevi’s fledgling PRP (2) and others (9).
DICHPALLI (NIZAMABAD): Praising the late prime minister Indira Gandhi for her straightforward politics, Prajarajyam Party president Chiranjeevi said chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy would have not continued in his post had Indira Gandhi been alive today.
Addressing the last public meeting before the first phase of election at Dichpalli on Tuesday, Chiranjeevi alleged that YSR keeps AICC president Sonia Gandhi in good humour by sending wads of currency. “Whenever she comes she heaps praises on YSR only because of the briefcases being sent by the CM to Delhi,” he charged.
Hitting out at the opposition parties’ criticism on PRP’s social justice plank, he said for the first time in Indian political history, 104 seats have been allocated to BCs and six SC/STs candidates accommodated in general seats. “Is it not social justice?” he thundered.
He blamed both the ruling Congress and the TDP of failing to give much seats to BCs who constitute 50 per cent of the state’s population. Earlier addressing a public meeting at Nehru Park in Nizamabad town, the PRP chief said the budgetary allocation for AP Minority Finance Corporation would be hiked to Rs 1000 crore from Rs 180 crore if PRP is voted to power.
Banjara Hills police on Tuesday seized Rs 5 lakh in cash from an election campaigning vehicle of TRS’ Medak Lok Sabha candidate Vijayashanti at Kamalapuri Colony.
At about 7 pm, police intercepted a Tata Safari (AP9 EX T/R 5299) as part of the vehicle-checking exercise at Kamalapuri Colony.
During the inspection, police found bundles of currency amounting to Rs five lakh in the handbag of one K Srinivasa Rao, 39, who was sitting in the rear seat of the vehicle, Banjara Hills inspector of police Iqbal Siddiqi said.
Srinivasa Rao is a make-up artiste from Avanti Nagar in Erragadda. As he could not give proper explanation for the source of the money, police seized the cash and the vehicle under section 102 (power of police to seize certain property) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
During investigation, police found that the vehicle belonged to one Jayanthi Rao of Goshamahal and the returning officer of the Medak parliamentary constituency had issued permission to use the vehicle for campaigning purposes of Vijayashanti or her agent.
In a related development, the enforcement wing of the Dhoolpet excise police station, raided a house in Upper Dhoolpet and seized 148 beer bottles and 40 Bagpiper whisky bottles worth Rs 20,000. The officials arrested one Ashok and booked cases against him, said excise superintendent K Satyanarayana.
Praja Rajyam Party women’s wing president Shobha Rani, known for her loud mouth character, has crossed all limits of decency.
On Tuesday, she along with her friends, attacked NTV office, beat up a woman reporter Rehana and damaged the camera. She wanted to register her protest against a sting operation conducted by the channel exposing match-fixing between PRP and the Congress leaders in Bhongir Lok Sabha constituency. The report said the PRP had deliberately fielded a weak candidate in Bhongir by taking money. Hence the attack.
Shobha, who belongs to the clan of MRPS president Manda Krishna, seems to have thought she would get more publicity by resorting to physical attacks. Unfortunately, she got only bad name.
Dummy Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are to be put up at all the polling stations to help familiarize voters with their use before entering the balloting booth,
Such a move from the Election Commission would go a long way in educating the voter about exercising his right.
The Election Commission has also clearly stated no poll official is allowed to enter the booth when votes are being cast through the EVM. This way the EC is ensuring a transparent and unbiased approach to the elections.
One hopes that the political parties and the people would appreciate these efforts from the EC and make the elections a trouble free affair.
It is the known fact that NTR.Jr who is the main campaigner of TDP in these elections is out of the way after the accident.
Still TDP is depending up on the charisma of NTR.Jr. Junior who is excellent speaker addressed the public with the help of electronic media on 13th April. Now the party is making the CDs of NTR speeches and selling them through out the state. The party is getting some fund and at the same time it is getting good publicity.
The CDs are distributed to the cadre of TDP at nominal cost and asked them to spread the message of NTR in to the people.
Now that the day for the canvassing and the campaigns has reached the end, the time has come for many to give out their observations on the overall activities that were happening from the past few months.
It is being expressed by many that some of the big and established channels were quite biased towards particular political parties and they are not really sure how much of their information is genuine.
The list begins with the Sakshi channel that is said to have come up with outright pro-Congress propaganda and though the channel is barely new, it did not take long for them to pick up the momentum and sing the Congress song.
They are followed by the ETV channel that is said to have projected a lot on the TDP and to a fair extent, the Mahakootami. Last but not the least, there is the MAA channel that got into some political colors as it was focusing majorly on the Praja Rajyam Party.
The reasons for these channels coming up with such programs need no explanation as it is an open secret.
However, many said that such channels barring the exception of Sakshi set examples for other channels so if they come up with biased information then they would be followed even by the lesser known channels and at the end of the day, the common man is deprived of knowing the truth.
Only time will tell if this tradition is going to change or not for the betterment of the media environment and also to the society.