Andhra Pradesh Elections: Demonstrations witnessed on polling eve after parties fail to keep 'cash for votes' promise

Several media reports have claimed that illegal distribution of money in Andhra Pradesh was rampant on the eve of polls.
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 07:22 IST
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 07:22 IST

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The electoral fate of several prominent candidates contesting in Andhra Pradesh both for Assembly and Lok Sabha seats will be decided today.

Along with all the Lok Sabha constituencies in Andhra Pradesh, voting is also simultaneously being held in all 175 Assembly seats in the state, which is witnessing a triangular contest involving ruling YSRC, the Congress-led I.N.D.I.A. bloc and the NDA, comprising the BJP, Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP and Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena Party (JSP).

However, despite the strict vigil in the state, reports of corruption and bribery emerged as several media reports have claimed that illegal distribution of money in the state was rampant on the eve of polls on May 12.

Here is what happened in Andhra Pradesh ahead of voting

As per a report in The Times of India, several groups of voters staged demonstrations across Andhra Pradesh yesterday evening demanding money from political parties in exchange for votes.

“The employees’ unions have demanded ₹6,000 per person to support our party. Even the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) have also sought lump-sum amounts,” a leader of a political party told The Hindu.

While the campaigning concluded in Andhra Pradesh on May 11, money distribution allegedly continued in several places of the state.

As per the TOI report, Palnadu's Sattenapalli witnessed voters from the 18th ward protesting on the streets as they claimed that they never received the money they had been promised for their votes.

Similar scenes also unfolded in Pithapuram as voters protested near the office of a contesting politician accusing the party of not fulfilling its promise of giving Rs 5,000 to women voters, ultimately requiring police intervention for the situation to subside.

Reportedly, the Darsi Police have arrested two people from YSRCP and TDP for sending money to government employees through UPI ahead of the voting through postal ballots at Veligandla and Kothapalem villages in Prakasam district.

As per The Hindu report, the government employees on poll duty who cast their votes through postal ballots received Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 each.

Media reports claimed that the cash-for-votes in several Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies in the state ranged from Rs 1,000 to Rs 6,000.

Rs 5,000 per vote was reportedly distributed in Ongole leading to protests after some people were left out. Similarly, many people staged protests in East Godavari district of Kondevaram village after they did not receive the payments they had been promised.

The publication reported that offices of some municipal corporators in Vijayawada were being used to carry out the distribution of money in exchange for votes. Meanwhile, for candidates who do not have proper offices, arrangements were being made to gather voters at specific locations where they were bribed with money.

A shopkeeper in Amravati told the publication that parties even gave voters Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 more than what their competitors are offering.

On the protests that erupted in the state yesterday, a retired teacher told the publication: "These types of protests are a clear indication of the need for stringent enforcement of electoral laws and a crackdown on corruption within the voting process."

The total number of voters in Andhra Pradesh is 4.14 crore, which include 2.02 crore male voters, 2.1 crore female voters, 3,421 third gender voters and 68,185 service electors.

(With PTI inputs)

Published 13 May 2024, 07:22 IST

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