Amaravati: In a few hours from now, the verdict of the people will be out on whether they voted for a change or status quo in Andhra Pradesh, even as stakes are high for the two main contenders--the ruling TDP and YSRCP.
The general mood of the voters apart, most pre-poll surveys and exit polls have given a thumping victory for the opposition YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) but ruling Telugu Desam president and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is betting "1000 per cent" on his party’s victory.
Counting of votes for the 25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 Assembly segments will be held at 36 different centres across the State amid tight security on Thursday, according to officials.
This was the first general election in the state after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and formation of Telangana, in June 2014.
Over 79.64 and 79.4 percentage of polling was recorded in the state on April 11 when elections were held simultaneously for the Assembly and Lok Sabha seats respectively.
Of the total 3,93,45,717 electors in the state, 3,13,33,163 cast their votes for the 319 Lok Sabha candidates and 3,13,33,631 for 2,118 Assembly contestants.
Besides the state Assembly outcome, the Lok Sabha election result is also critical for the TDP as it will determine its standing on the national political scene.
For Naidu, who is spearheading an effort to forge an anti-BJP front, winning a sizeable number of Lok Sabha seats is a critical requirement to remain relevant at the national level.
Of the 175 Assembly seats, the TDP won 102 in alliance with the BJP, YSRCP 67, BJP 4, Navodayam Party 1 and Independent one in 2014.
Of the 25 Lok Sabha seats, the TDP bagged 15, YSRC 8 and BJP 2.In the Assembly polls, the TDP polled 44.61 per cent of votes while the YSRC got 44.58 per cent.
The BJPs 2.18 per cent vote share made all the difference, enabling the TDP to clinch power in 2014. The TDP, though, severed its ties with the BJP in March 2018 and walked out of the NDA with the Centre not acceding to its demand on special category status for AP.
YSRCP chief Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is seeking re-election from his home turf Pulivendula while actor Pawan Kalyan is also making his electoral debut.
Pawan Kalyan is in the fray from two Assembly seats Gajuwaka and Bhimavaram.
Naidu is seeking election to the Assembly for a record eighth time from Kuppam constituency in his native Chittoor district.
His son and state IT Minister Nara Lokesh jumped into the electoral fray for the first time in Mangalagiri Assembly constituency in the state capital region Amaravati.
The Congress and the BJP contested all the Lok Sabha and the Assembly seats on their own but would find the going tough against the TDP and YSRCP. (PTI)