With the TDP refraining from the bye-election citing tradition, the BJP came in second, trailing by more than 90,000 votes.

YSRCP leader Dasari Sudha wearing green and blue party coloured scarf and standing with folded handsFacebook/Dr.Dasari Sudha
news Election Tuesday, November 02, 2021 - 15:32

The results for the bye-election to the Badvel constituency in Andhra Pradesh are in, with YSRCP candidate Dasari Sudha winning with a huge majority, leading by more than 90,000 votes over the BJP candidate who came in second. 

Dasari Sudha is the wife of the deceased YSRCP MLA Gunthoti Venkata Subbaiah. The bye-poll was necessitated by Venkata Subbaiah’s death due to ill-health earlier in March. While the TDP had refrained from the contest citing the ‘tradition’ of allowing family members of deceased legislators to contest unopposed in the subsequent election, the Congress fielded former MLA PM Kamalamma. The BJP fielded its youth leader Punthala Suresh as its candidate.

While the counting of EVM votes was completed around 1pm, the counting of postal votes continued through the afternoon. The YSRCP had secured a total of 1,12,211 (76.25%) votes as of 3.30 pm on November 2. In the TDP’s absence, BJP came in second with 21,678 (14.73%) votes. Congress ended up third with 6,235 (4.24%) votes, while 3,637 votes went to NOTA. 

Badvel is a Scheduled Caste reserved constituency. It is one of the Assembly segments of the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, which has been held by the YSR family for more than thirty years. Polling happened on Saturday, October 30, and witnessed a turnout of 68.12%, considerably lower than the turnout of 76.37% seen in the previous election in 2019. 

A total of 15 candidates contested in the bye-poll. Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan, whose party is in an alliance with the BJP in the state, also announced that his party would refrain from contesting the bye-election out of respect for Venkata Subbaiah’s family, taking the same stand as the TDP. However, the BJP declared that it would contest the election, stating it was opposed to dynasty politics and family rule. This led to a situation where the BJP ended up as a primary contender against YSRCP, with the TDP out of the way. 

Read: Badvel bye-poll: Why TDP and Pawan Kalyan's JSP are not contesting citing ‘tradition’

The BJP along with Jana Sena has been making efforts to emerge as a serious opposition to the YSRCP in Andhra, alongside the TDP. In the Tirupati Lok Sabha bye-election that was held earlier in May, the YSRCP saw a major victory despite a heated campaign by TDP, BJP, and Jana Sena, with a focus on alleged attacks on Hindu temples in the state. However, BJP-Jana Sena came in third after TDP, polling 5.17% of the votes. 

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