Voters in AP beat EVM glitches, faction politics

Voters in AP beat EVM glitches, faction politics

Late night polling in one of the booths in AP on Thursday night.

Thousands of voters waited patiently under the summer sun, while more than 400 polling booths remained defunct.

At the end of polling that began on April 11 at 7 am and continued till early hours of April 12, Andhra Pradesh achieved a poll percentage of 76.69 — less than the percentage for 2014.

"The glitches are minor, less than 5% when compared to the massive number of EVMs used in this exercise. We will let people who were in line by 6 pm to vote even past midnight," said Gopalakrishna Dwivedi the Chief Electoral Officer of Andhra Pradesh around midnight as thousands were still standing in line, in Vijayawada, Gannavaram, Jaggaiahpet, Tiruvuru, Mangalagiri, Kakinada, Machilipatnam and Visakhapatnam.

While the EC has reasons to cheer because there were no untoward incidents reported from the Maoist-affected Odisha-AP border and the percentage was above 70%, the ruling TDP has raised a few issues. "Why despite our repeated complaints about impending trouble in Rayalaseema, insufficient armed forces were allocated to AP, why were proper arrangements not made at the polling booths in hot summer?" asked Jupudi Prabhakar Rao, TDP spokesperson.

He said women made a point this time to bring back Naidu due to the plethora of welfare schemes he implemented. TDP is hoping that the huge inflow of voters from neighbouring states of Karnataka, Telangana and Tamilnadu will prove helpful in the victory of TDP.

However, YSRCP says the vote is for change. "The huge turnout is for change. People particularly the women voters who were fed up of Naidu's lies for the past five years have come out in large numbers, said Alla Ramakrishna Reddy, YSRCP Mangalagiri candidate. He accused the TDP of trying to bribe voters in places where there was late night voting.