Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) is heading for a clean sweep in the ZPTC and MPTC elections as the counting of votes was underway on Sunday. The party had bagged a majority of the Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTCs) and the Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTCs) till Sunday evening.
According to results declared by the State Election Commission (SEC) till 6.30 p.m., the ruling party had won 340 out of 515 ZPTCs for which elections were held in April this year.
Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was a distant second with just three seats while the CPI-M and independents won a seat each.
Out of total 659 ZPTCs, the election was unanimous for 126 seats while 11 candidates expired since March 2020 when the poll process had started. The SEC withheld results in eight ZPTCs for various reasons.
Counting of votes was completed in three districts out of total 13 districts. The YSRCP made a clean sweep in all three districts including Chittoor, the home district of TDP President and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
In Chittoor, the YSRCP won all 33 seats for which elections were held. Similarly, it won all 34 seats in Nellore and 36 seats in Kurnool. The ruling party was also racing ahead in the remaining districts.
In Kuppam Assembly constituency represented by Naidu, the YSRCP won all four ZPTCs and 98 per cent of MPTCs. The ruling party also won the MPTC in Naravari Palli, the native village of Naidu.
The YSRCP claimed that this landslide victory shows that even after two and a half years of rule, the influence of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy remains unchanged.
The party also bagged majority of the MPTC seats. Out of 10,047 seats, the election was unanimous on 2,371 seats, and election was held for 7,219 seats. A total of 81 candidates expired since March 2020 while the SEC withheld results of 355 seats.
Results declared till 6.30 p.m. show that the YSRCP won 5,135 seats while the TDP was at second place with 675 seats. Jana Sena of actor Pawan Kalyan bagged 85 seats while the BJP won 23 seats. The CPI-M won 13 seats, the CPI 8, the Congress 4 and others 131.
SEC officials said the counting of votes is likely to continue past midnight. Andhra Pradesh High Court had last week allowed counting of votes in the elections held in April this year, bringing curtains on a process which began in March 2020.
The elections were held on April 8. A single judge bench on May 21 had cancelled the ZPTC and MPTC elections while hearing a petition by a TDP leader that the four-week mandatory period of model code of conduct was not taken into consideration from the date of announcement of election scheduled to the conduct of elections. However, a division bench later stayed the order on an appeal filed by the state government and allowed the SEC to take up counting of votes.
The YSRCP, which came to power in May 2019, has made a clean sweep in elections held at all levels from Parliament and Assembly to municipal, panchayat and now ZPTCs and MPTCs.
Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy said that the victory in the ZPTC and MPTC polls is seen as a vote for good governance which is mainly welfare-oriented and added that the Chief Minister has gained people's trust by fulfilling election promises.
The minister claimed that the TDP, with the help of former State Election Commissioner, had indulged in several political conspiracies in regard to local body polls. He said former SEC had postponed local body polls citing Covid only to favour the TDP. He said the results of panchayat and municipal polls made it clear that people are not in support of the TDP and Naidu started a new drama to boycott the MPTC and ZPTC polls anticipating the humiliating defeat.