Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) was heading for a massive victory in Atmakur Assembly by-election.
YSRCP’s M. Vikram Reddy established a lead of over 66,000 votes over his nearest rival G. Bharat Kumar of the BJP.
At the end of 16h round, the ruling party candidate was ahead with a majority of 66,477. He had polled 81,636 votes while Kumar had secured 15,159 votes.
With four more rounds to go, the YSRCP was set to retain the seat in the one-sided contest.
About 65 per cent polling was recorded in the by-election to the Atmakur Assembly seat in Nellore district on Thursday and the counting was taken up on Sunday.
A total of 2,13,327 voters were eligible to exercise franchise in the constituency.
The by-election was necessitated by the death of industries minister M. Goutham Reddy in February this year.
The ruling party fielded Goutham Reddy’s brother M. Vikram Reddy. A total of 14 candidates are in the fray.
Main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has not fielded the candidate in line with its tradition of not contesting a by-election where a family member of deceased sitting legislator is seeking the public mandate.
Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena Party (JSP), an ally of BJP, also stayed away from the bypoll.
The BJP contested the bypoll in tune with its principled stand not to encourage politics of inheritance by leaving the elections uncontested when an incumbent passes away.
In the 2019 elections, Goutham Reddy had defeated his nearest rival Bollineni Krishnayya of TDP by a margin of over 22,000 votes.