Violence mars polling in Andhra Pradesh

violence mars polling in andhra pradesh

Violence mars polling in Andhra Pradesh

Polling in Andhra Pradesh on Monday was marred by violence and clashes between YSRCP and TDP workers. A booth agent belonging to the ruling party was stabbed in broad daylight while in another incident the MLA of Tenali slapped a voter when the latter objected to his jumping the queue.

Despite the violence, the state registered a high voter turnout which was 68.04 per cent at 5 pm. Polling was held in AP simultaneously for 25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 Assembly seats today.

Violence was reported from Palnadu, Chittoor, Anantapur, Kadapa and Annamayya districts. After a high decibel campaign tensions were running high from morning.

The Election Commission suspended a sub inspector at Punganur for letting off those involved in violence. In booth number 220 at Mandi Krishnapuram in Chittoor district a YSRCP polling agent Suresh Reddy was stabbed by a TDP supporter Chandra.

The two had clashed earlier during the sarpanch election. YSRCP MLA A Shiva Kumar slapped a voter who had objected to his jumping the queue.

The voter retaliated but then the supporters of the MLA accompanying him also jumped in. The MLA later alleged that the voter had uttered a casteist remark but the man said he had retaliated in the heat of the moment and was now afraid for his own life.

The TDP also alleged three polling agents were abducted by the YSRCP cadres from Sadum mandal under Punganur Assembly in Chittoor district in private vehicles and were later let off 25 km away at Pileru with the warning that they should stay away from booths till afternoon.

A probe is underway to identify the abductors. In Narasaraopet, the TDP workers allegedly attacked the house of YSRCP MLA Gopireddy Srinivasa Reddy. Police fired rubber bullets to dismiss the mob. This was said to be in retaliation for an attack on TDP leader Aravind Babu.

The TDP alleged YSRCP activists damaged three vehicles belonging to its Narsaraopeta candidate L Sri Krishna Devarayalu. TDP activists allegedly damaged the vehicle of YSRCP leader Nandigam Suresh.

Since the people were still standing in the queue after 6 pm. Opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu urged the ECI to arrange sufficient power backup and illumination in the booths.

“It’s a historic day for Andhra Pradesh today! The enthusiasm and determination of our people is inspirational, People continue to turn up in long queues to exercise their right to vote,” said Naidu, who had cast his vote in Kuppam, his constituency.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy cast his vote in Pulivendula along with his wife. The YSRCP has claimed a large number of women and elderly (read beneficiaries of welfare schemes) have voted in this election, predicting the party’s win.

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