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Andhra Pradesh Assembly Elections 2024: Violence mars polling as state records over 78% voter turnout

In Guntur's Tenali, YSRCP candidate and local MLA, Annabathuni Siva Kumar, courted controversy by slapping a voter in the queue at a polling booth.
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 16:02 IST
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 16:02 IST

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Hyderabad: Clashes between YSRCP and TDP workers in Palnadu, Anantapur and Annamayya districts marred the simultaneous elections to assembly and Lok Sabha seats held in Andhra Pradesh on Monday.

Vehicles of political leaders were damaged and set on fire in some places. In Guntur's Tenali, YSRCP candidate and local MLA, Annabathuni Siva Kumar, courted controversy by slapping a voter in the queue at a polling booth. Based on the complaint filed by the victim K Sudhakar, local police registered a case against the MLA. The MLA said he was enraged as Sudhakar was abusing him and his wife.

From slapping to pelting stones, and mild lathi charge, Andhra election on Monday witnessed it all.

In Rentachintala of Palnadu district, two polling agents of TDP were allegedly attacked by YSRCP activists. In Gurazala, activists of the TDP and the YSRCP pelted stones at each other near a polling station. With the situation going out of control, the police resorted to mild lathi charge to disperse the mobs.

In Dodleru, activists of YSRCP and TDP resorted to jostling in front of a polling station in the village. The YSRCP activists allegedly damaged the vehicles of TDP MP candidate Lavu Sri Krishnadevarayalu. In Sathakodu village of Yerragondapalem constituency of Prakasam district, polling disrupted for a while following a rift between the TDP and the YSRCP.

In Tadipatri of Anantapur district, stone pelting took place between the YSRCP and TDP activists after MLA Kethireddy Peddareddy and municipal chairperson J C Diwakar Reddy reached a polling station in the town at a time.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Election Officer (CEO), Mukesh Kumar Meena, has said that eight FIRs have been registered with regards to poll violence across the state. He also said barring these incidents in Palnadu, Anantapur and Annamayya districts, polling went on peacefully.

According to the Election Commission's Voter Turnout App at 12 midnight, Andhra Pradesh has registered around 78.25 per cent of voting. In the last 2019 polls, Andhra Pradesh registered around 80.09 per cent of polling.

As voting will be allowed to those who had reached the polling stations before the closing time of 6pm, the overall poll percentage is expected to go up. Women and elderly, especially in rural areas, were seen enthusiastically participating in the polling, raising the hopes of YSRCP to retain power as they were considered as the core vote bank of the ruling party.

Urban voters were seen favouring the opposition TDP-led alliance. Meena also said that EVMs where polling has been completed will be shifted to strong rooms amidst tight security.

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Published 13 May 2024, 16:02 IST

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