Results for the Tirupati by-polls that were declared on Sunday helped YSRCP retain their seat in the Lok Sabha. The election held in April was surrounded by controversy right from the nominations of candidates. Amid complaints to the Election Commissioner to suspected voter fraud, the Tirupati constituency saw it all.
The counting of votes took place abiding by the strict COVID-19 protocols in Nellore and Tirupati districts. In addition to PPE kits for counting agents, seating arrangements were made to ensure social distancing. Counting for four assembly constituencies; Sarvepalli, Gudur, Venkatagiri, and Sullurpet were conducted in DKW College in Nellore, and for three constituencies of Tirupati, Satyavedu and Srikalahasti were held at SV University in Tirupati.
A total of 28 candidates contested in the election. Polling percentages in the constituency in this election was nearly 15% lower as compared to 2019, with only 64.2% polling. Among the seven assembly constituencies, Satyavedu saw the highest percentage of polling at 72.86%, while the same in Tirupati was marginally over 50%. The low voter turnout has seemed to work in the favor of the ruling party.
The ruling YSRCP managed to marginally increase its vote share from 55% in 2019 to 56.7% in 2021. While the vote share of the Telugu Desam Party reduced from 37.65% in 2019 to 32.1% in these elections, the TDP managed to be the runner-up. BJP had suffered a major loss in 2019, receiving less than NOTA. However, this year with their alliance of Pawan Kalyan’s JanaSena Party, it increased its vote share from 1.2% to 5.2%.
The elections held on 17th April brought allegations of massive voter fraud in Tirupati. TDP chief and former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu wrote to the Election Commissioner along with proofs attached that showed bogus voters, registration number of buses full of bogus voters from other constituencies. The BJP candidate also appealed to the EC for re-election.