Nellore: Ruling YSR Congress Party's Mekapati Vikram Reddy, the brother of late minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy, won the Atmakur by-elections by 82,888 votes against BJP's G. Bharat Kumar. The main Opposition party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), did not contest. While Mr. Vikram Reddy polled 1,02,241 votes, his rival Bharat Kumar secured only 19,353 votes. Meanwhile, BSP candidate N. Obuleshu secured 4,904 votes.
This is the third time the YSRCP has won from the Atmakur constituency. Mekapati Goutham Reddy won in 2014 and 2019. Mr. Vikram Reddy's vote margin is almost four times Goutham Reddy's in the 2019 elections. While Goutham won by 22,276 votes defeating TDP candidate Bolineni Krishnaiah, Mr. Vikram Reddy won by over 82,000 votes.
Soon after the results, Mr. Vikram Reddy took out a victory rally thanking the voters and attributing his win to the support of the people of Atmakur for his late brother Goutham Reddy. "I will take forward the trust and name of my brother Goutham Reddy. With this win, I have more responsibility," Mr. Vikram Reddy.
The Atmakur by-poll was held on 23 June following the death of Mekapati Goutham Reddy on 21 February due to a heart attack. With 14 candidates in the fray, the contest was between the YSRCP and the BJP. On Sunday, the counting of votes began at 8 a.m at Andhra Engineering College in Atmakur mandal. The ruling YSRCP was winning from the first round of counting. By the 20th round, Mr. Vikram Reddy had secured 1,02,074 votes while BJP's Bharat Kumar had only 19,322 votes. Nanda Obulesu of the Bahujan Samaj Party secured 4,897 votes and around 4,179 votes were polled to NOTA.
Why did the TDP not contest?
As part of their policy, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) did not contest the Atmakur by-poll. The party has a tradition of not fielding a candidate against the family members of deceased MLAs and MPs in by-elections. As the YSRCP fielded Goutham Reddy's brother Vikram Reddy, the TDP did not contest. The Jana Sena party did not contest but lent its support to the BJP.