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Huzurnagar by-poll: Lagadapati bungles again?

Huzurnagar by-poll: Lagadapati bungles again?

Not long ago, former Congress MP from Vijayawada Lagadapati Rajagopal, who had earned the sobriquet of ‘Andhra Octopus’ for near accurate pre-poll predictions in the past, announced that he would henceforth abstain from conducting exit polls.

Reason: Lagadapati, who has been conducted polling surveys since 2004 and was almost closer to the exact results, bungled twice – first during the assembly elections in Telangana and then general elections in Andhra Pradesh. 

In both the instances, the outcome of the elections was exactly reverse to what he had predicted.

After the election results in Andhra on May 23 in which the YSR Congress party won with a thumping majority, bagging 151 out of 175 assembly seats contrary to Lagadapati’s prediction of TDP win with 100 plus seats, the former MP went on a backfoot defence.

He admitted that he had failed to read the pulse of the people in December 2018 Assembly elections in Telangana and 2019 General elections in Andhra Pradesh.

“I express my regrets. For whatever reasons, since I failed to know the pulse of the people, I would henceforth abstain from conducting exit polls in the future," he said.

However, highly placed sources said Lagadapati had secretly conducted a survey in the Huzurnagar by-elections held recently.

And he reportedly called up Pradesh Congress Committee president N Uttam Kumar Reddy and told him that his wife N Padmavathi is going to win the by-polls with a slender margin of 5,000 votes.

Lagadapati expressed his inability to make the report public, as his team had done the survey in Huzurnagar on the polling day.

It is not exactly known whether Uttam had believed Lagadapati’s survey or ignored it, but the result was exactly opposed to the exit polls.

Ruling Telagnana Rashtra Samithi candidate Sanampudi Saidi Reddy won the Huzurnagar seat with an unprecedented margin of 43,000 votes over Padmavathi. It is learnt the TRS candidate had gained majority in every polling booth.

Once bitten, twice shy – goes the adage. But Lagadapati is not shying away from surveys despite being bitten multiple times!

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Tags: Congress Uttam Kumar Reddy Survey Lagadapati Rajagopal Huzurnagar