The frequent bye-elections in Andhra Pradesh,five times since the 2009 assembly and Lok Sabha polls,are putting substantial burden on the public exchequer.
According to official sources,the cumulative cost of all the five bypolls is about Rs 70 crore.
To begin with,the bypolls were held for the first time in 2010 for 12 assembly constituencies and the expenditure was Rs 9.79 crore. In 2011,the bypolls were held for two assembly seats and the expenditure was Rs 1.6 4crore. The election for Kadapa Lok Sabha,contested and won by Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy,was also held in 2011 and the cost was Rs 8.35 crore.
In 2012,the bypolls were conducted for seven assembly segments in March and it cost the exchequer Rs 10.35 crore.
The byelections had to be conducted again for one Lok Sabha and 18 assembly segments this month. The cost of these polls comes roughly to about Rs 40 crore.
The byelections were held in 2010 for 12 assembly seats as the sitting MLAs resigned in support of the separate Telangana demand,while bye-election was conducted for Pulivendula assembly and Kadapa Lok Sabha seats in May,2011 following Jagan and his mother’s resignation from their seats after they parted ways with Congress.
Bye-election was held for Banswada assembly constituency in October 2011 as TDP MLA Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy quit the party and his assembly membership and successfully contested on TRS ticket. In March this year,bypolls were held for seven assembly segments as the sitting MLAs quit in support of Telangana in five seats,the sitting MLA passed away in one,while one MLA quit in support of Jagan.
The bye-elections in March were followed by another round of bypolls this month for 18 assembly constituencies and one Lok Sabha seat. They were necessitated as 16 sitting Congress MLAs were disqualified by Assembly Speaker for switching loyalty to Jagan and voting against the Congress during a vote of confidence in December last,while the sitting member quit in support of the YSR Congress president in another seat.
Actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi quit as MLA following his election to Rajya Sabha,while the sitting Congress member quit in support of Jagan in Nellore Lok Sabha constituency which caused bye-election.
Meanwhile,the worth of unaccounted cash and valuable items like gold and silver seized during this month’s bye-elections was also high. Over Rs 43 crore was seized
during the polls which was higher than the Rs 38 crore seized during the 2009 general elections.
State Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar had earlier this month expressed serious displeasure over the frequent bye-elections.
The bye-elections are resulting in wastage of public money on conduct of elections besides paralysing the administration and causing hardship to people, he told newsmen in an informal chat on completing one year as AP Assembly Speaker.