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Nandyal By-election May be Costliest Ever as TDP, YSR Congress Battle For Prestige

Experts estimate that unofficially, anywhere from Rs 100 crore to Rs 300 crore or more could have been spent on this election.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:August 8, 2017, 7:13 PM IST
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Nandyal By-election May be Costliest Ever as TDP, YSR Congress Battle For Prestige
File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. (Representative image)
Hyderabad: The Nandyal by-election in Andhra Pradesh has turned into a prestige battle between Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and YSR Congress Party leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy who are going all out to win the seat at any cost.

Looking at the intense campaign by both Telugu Desam Party and YSRCP, political analysts and activists told CNN-News18 the Nandyal by-election may prove to be the costliest ever.

Experts estimate that unofficially, anywhere from Rs 100 crore to Rs 300 crore or more could have been spent on this election.

Winning Nandyal seat will be symbolic victory for any party before 2019 assembly elections.

V Lakshmana Reddy, state president, Jana Chaitanya Vedika, has written a letter to the Election Commission requesting him to take measures to curb money and liquor power during election. Speaking to CNN News18, he said, "Highest expenditure will be incurred in the Nandyal by-poll. Each candidate may spend Rs 3000-5000 to bribe each voter. Apart from this, money will be spent on liquor too. We have written to Election Commission to ensure liquor flow in the district is same as that of last year and more flying squads are placed to curb illegal practices."

Secretary, Forum for Good Governance, Padmanabha Reddy told CNN News 18,"Since it has become a prestige battle, surely lot of money would be spent by all parties. It is expected each candidate may spend Rs 50-100 crore. There are observers from Election Commission, but that never helps. Parties find a channel to distribute liquor and money to buy votes. It’s very unfortunate."

Jayaprakash Narayan, founder, Loksatta, said, "Some estimates even go up to Rs 300 crores. This is a poor state with poor people, but super wealthy politicos."

YSRCP has even registered complain with the Election Commission alleging ruling TDP of misusing government machinery to lure voters.

Senior YSRCP leader said, "Foundation stones are laid during night times secretly and funds are released overnight. Many development schemes have suddenly started sprouting in the Nandyal constituency and the TDP caravan of leaders is roaming across the constituency announcing sops."

The opposition has requested EC to treat all the expenses made to be included as election expenditure and take appropriate action.
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