Deccan Chronicle



Authoritie­s have made elaborate arrangemen­ts for Saturday’s by-election to the Tirupati (SC) Lok Sabha seat to ensure a smooth polling in seven Assembly segments of Chittoor and Nellore district that fall under the parliament­ary segment. Polling will be held between 7 am to 7 pm.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Election Commission has added 501 polling booths – 251 in Nellore district and 250 in Chittoor district, in addition to the existing polling stations that were set up during the 2019 election, fulfilling the ECIs instructio­ns of one polling station for every 1,000 voters.

In total, as many as 2470 polling stations – 1056 PSs in Chittoor district, covering three Assembly segments, including Tirupati (382), Srikalahas­ti (362) and Satyavedu (312) and 1,414 PSs in Nellore district, covering four Assembly segments, including Gudur (366), Venkatagir­i (366), Sullurpeta

(343) and Sarvepalli (339), have been arranged. Polling stations were divided into 260 sectors with 877 declared critical.

Approximat­ely, 28 candidates, including independen­ts are in the fray. The prominent ones being Dr M. Gurumurthy (YSRC), Panabaka Lakshmi (TD), K. Ratna Prabha (BJPJSP), Chinta Mohan (Congress) and Nellore Yadagiri (CPI-M).

There will be a mock polling around 6 am on Saturday.

As per Covid-19 guidelines, medical teams are being deputed at all polling stations to check voters before they enter booths. The ECI has provided postal ballot facilities to the elderly (508 octogenari­ans), physically challenged

(284) and election staff (3,195). As per the data, around

12,87,734 votes of the total

16,50,453 electors were polled in the 2019 general election, recording a poll percentage of

78.99 per cent. In all, the Tirupati Assembly segment recorded least polling percentage at 66.05, followed by Gudur

(78.12), Venkatagir­i (78.62), Srikalahas­ti (81.81), Sarvepalli

(82.42), Sullurpeta (82.86) and Sathyavedu with 86.09 per cent.

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