Telugu Desam Party (TDP)-backed candidate Bhumireddy Ramagopal Reddy, who won the MLC elections in West Rayalaseema graduates’ constituency by a margin of 7,543 votes, had to wait to receive his declaration form of victory. Even as the results were declared on Saturday (March 18), Mr. Ramagopal Reddy got the declaration from Returning Officer Nagalakshmi Selvarajan on Sunday (March 19) morning.
The final result was announced at around 8 p.m. on Saturday and the Returning Officer announced that the declaration form would be given at 10.30 p.m., saying that she was waiting for the permission of the Election Commission of India (ECI).
Irked over the delay in getting the official declaration, TDP Anantapur president Kalava Srinivasulu and his Sri Sathya Sai district counterpart B.K. Parthasarathy staged a dharna in front of the vote counting centre and later near the Collector’s office on Saturday night. They continued their protest till Sunday morning. The police had a tough time in controlling the TDP activists gathered outside the Collector’s office.
The permission finally came at 1.30 a.m. on Sunday and the District Collector told the winning candidate to collect the declaration form from her office at 9.30 a.m. Meanwhile, the TDP leaders were removed from the places where they were staging dharnas.
At around 10 a.m., Mr. Ramgopal Reddy, along with his party leaders, went to the Collector’s office and collected the declaration form.
He thanked the voters for electing him. He alleged that the YSRCP leaders had distributed ₹50 crore to the voters, but only to face a defeat.