Residual Andhra Pradesh is all set for simultaneous Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, as over 3.93 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fortunes of 319 candidates for 25 Lok Sabha seats and 2,118 candidates in 175 Assembly seats.
The ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu hopes to get re-elected for a second consecutive term, while Jagan Mohan Reddy and his YSRCP hope to storm into power. Actor-politician Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena Party has stitched up an alliance with the BSP and Left parties, making it a multi-cornered fight. The Congress and the BJP are also in the fray.
Authorities have set up 46,120 polling stations, of which 9,000 booths are considered sensitive. 566 Flying Squad teams, 466 Static Surveillance Teams (SST) and 5,171 mobile teams have been deployed by the Election Commission, to implement the Model Code of Conduct and to carry out polling smoothly. 368 check posts have also been set up across the state.
In 2014 elections, the TDP had bagged 102 seats while its then ally BJP had won four seats. The YSRCP had won 67 seats. Two Independents were also elected. In the simultaneous elections held for the Lok Sabha, the TDP had bagged 15 seats while the BJP got two. YSRCP candidates were elected from eight constituencies.
The EC said that voting will begin at 7 am at all polling stations including 520 Left Wing Extremist affected booths. Authorities said that officials will be using 1,200 body-worn cameras and 67 drones were deployed to ensure peaceful polling.
The EC said that since the MCC was enforced, they had seized Rs 116,25,45,330 (Rs 116 crore) along with 101 kg of gold and 36,142 litres of liquor. 1,435 vehicles were also seized, officials said.
Speaking about the number of cases, the EC said that 28,049 FIRs had been registered out of which 144 cases were registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) while 4,510 cases were related to violations of the MCC.