Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh):
The ruling YSR Congress on Sunday secured a thumping victory in the by-election to the Tirupati (SC) Lok Sabha constituency, trouncing the main opposition Telugu Desam Party by a record margin of 2,71,592 votes.
YSRC candidate M Gurumoorthy polled 6,26,108, including 1,533 postal votes, out of the total 11,04,827 polled on April 17, according to the Election Commission.
His nearest rival, former Union Minister of State Panabaka Lakshmi of the TDP, got 3,54,516 votes.
The difference in votes between these two main candidates was 24.57 per cent.
It was a no-show for the BJP, which had hopes of reclaiming the seat, though its nominee K Ratna Prabha, a retired IAS officer, managed to get 57,080 (5.17 per cent) votes.
This was a consolation for the BJP as it improved its vote share from a mere 1.22 per cent in 2019, this time though in alliance with the Jana Sena Party.
The YSRC, however, failed to reach its target victory margin of five lakh votes and had to be content with less than three lakh, though it increased its vote share from 55.
03 per cent in 2019 to over 56.67 per cent now. The TDPs vote share dipped from 37.65 per cent to just over 32.1 per cent.
The Congress Chinta Mohan, a former Union Minister of State, could not get even 10,000 votes as the party lost more than one per cent share this time.
The party ended up with 0.87 per cent votes, much less than NOTA (1.41 per cent). Others got 3.2 per cent of the total votes polled.
By-election for the Tirupati Lok Sabha seat, spread over seven Assembly segments in SPS Nellore and Chittoor districts, was held following the death of sitting MP Balli Durga Prasad Rao due to COVID-19 in September last.
Chief Minister and YSRC president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy congratulated Gurumoorthy on the victory.
People have wholeheartedly blessed our government, through the Tirupati Lok Sabha by-election, after 23 months of rule. This victory belongs to all people, Mr Jagan said in a tweet.
The 2.71 lakh vote victory margin reflected the great respect and affection of people, encouraging him and his government, the Chief Minister said.
This enhances my responsibility, he added.
TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu said in a statement that the reduced polling percentage held a mirror to the peoples resentment towards the Jagan regime.
Voters of Tirupati taught a lesson to the YSRC leadership that betrayed arrogance of winning the seat by a five-lakh vote margin, he said.