Amaravati: A day ahead of counting of votes for the Andhra Pradesh Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, police on Wednesday stepped up security at the residences of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) leader Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in the state capital region Amaravati.
Police deployed additional personnel at the residences of Naidu, who is also the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President, and Reddy in Tadepally block of Guntur district. With mixed exit poll predictions generating political heat in the state, both parties have expressed apprehensions that the other might resort to violence during counting on Thursday. As a large number of party leaders and workers are expected to reach the offices-cum-residences of Naidu and Reddy, police have beefed up security to prevent any untoward incident. The security personnel were erecting barricades and making plans for traffic diversions.
Since the capital region is surrounded by several districts, police anticipate that elected candidates and leaders could descend on the houses of their respective party chiefs. In addition to 50 policemen from Guntur district, two companies of Andhra Pradesh Special Protection Force each were deployed at the two places. Naidu already enjoys ‘Z plus’ category security and his security detail includes members from the elite National Security Guard (NSG) apart from Andhra Pradesh Police’s Intelligence Security Wing.
Reddy’s security was also beefed up after the knife attack by a youth at Visakhapatnam Airport last year. Elections to the 175-member state Assembly and the state’s 25 Lok Sabha seats were held on April 11. The exit polls have made mixed predictions. While some have projected victory for YSRCP, others have predicted that the TDP will retain power. This was the first full-fledged Parliament elections in Andhra Pradesh as the 2014 polls were conducted in the undivided state. Telangana came into being as a new state on June 2, 2014.
While Naidu had shifted base from Hyderabad to Amaravati in 2015, Reddy and his party moved to the Andhra Pradesh capital in March this year. Confident of coming to power in the state this time, Reddy, along with his family, moved to his house at Tadepally on Wednesday. YSRCP leaders said he would remain there on the counting day and monitor the results along with top party leaders.