YSRC-TDP clashes, Maoists mar Seemandhra polls

YSRC-TDP clashes, Maoists mar Seemandhra polls

YSRC-TDP clashes, Maoists mar Seemandhra polls

Supporters of Telugu Desam (TDP) and YSR Congress (YSRC) parties fought pitched battles in Kadapa and several places of Seemandhra region during the polling for 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats of the residual state on Wednesday.

The state polled around 80% votes with Anantapur, Prakasam and Guntur registering highest of 80%, 81% and 83 % respectively but the overall percentage could go higher than 80% with polling going on beyond 6 pm.

TDP’s Narsaraopet Lok Sabha constituency candidate Rayapati Sambasiva Rao escaped an attack on him when suspected YSRC followers pelted stones on his vehicle and damaged it at Basikapuram in Guntur district.

 In Jammalamadugu of Kadapa district, ASP Appala Naidu was injured in an attack by YSRC supporters. The TDP also alleged that Rajesh Kumar, an SP cadre officer on special duty, six constables and four vehicles were also attacked by the YSRC cadre.
In a letter to Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwarlal, TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu complained that polling staff colluded with the YSRC in Narpala and Singanamala of Anantapur district and resorted to rigging after driving away TDP workers.

 The TDP has alleged attacks and rigging in Mydukuru, Jammalamadugu in Kadapa, Brahmanapalli and Atmakur in Nellore district and Punganur of Chittoor district.
 In Rajampet of Kadapa, BJP Lok Sabha candidate D Purandeswari sat on a dharna in Sadum polling booth, alleging that YSRC is resorting to rigging by driving away BJP workers.

However, the YSRC also made counter allegations saying that it was the TDP that has resorted to large-scale violence to intimidate the YSRC cadre. The party alleged that “TDP goons” have attacked its followers with daggers.

The CEO, however, said here that polling was not at all affected due to these minor clashes. “They are mostly clashes between opponent groups outside the polling booths which were immediately taken care of by the police and paramilitary forces, the polling was peaceful,” Bhanwarlal said.

In Ramireddypalem of Rompicharla Mandal of Guntur, police fired several rounds into air to control warring TDP, YSRC followers.

In a lone incident of Maoist violence, suspected Maoists burnt two EVMs and a Jeep hired for the polling at Palakajeedi in Koyyur Mandal of Visakhapatnam district.
The CEO said he will recommend for a repoll in Palakajeedi as the both the Assembly and Lok Sabha (Paderu ST) EVM were completely destroyed.

In the Maoist infested Araku and Paderu, the polling ended at 4 pm. Polling in sensitive Macharla, Kurupam, Saluru, Vinukonda, Pedakurapadu, Parvathipuram, Rampachodavaram and Gurajala was over by 5 pm.

Two villages in Srikakulam and East Godavari boycotted the elections complaining that no leader really cared about them. Y S Jaganmohan Reddy said that he is expecting a clean sweep for YSRC as people of the region are hurt by the manner in which the state was divided.

Answering a question on possible alliances if won the elections, Jagan said that YSRC will have all its options open. “We are not in a hurry to support any party,” Jagan added.

Meanwhile, TDP sources informed that BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has called up Chandrababu Naidu and enquired about the trend in polling. “Our president has informed him that the voters are behind TDP despite of the preplanned attacks of YSRC,” a senior TDP leader from Krishna district said.

Former Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy cast his vote in Pileru, Actor Mohan Babu in Rangampet of Chandragiri Mandal, APCC chief Raghuveera Reddy in Neelakanthapuram of Anantapur and union minister Pallam Raju in Kakinada.