The highest turnout of 82.97 per cent was recorded in Guntur district

A YSR Congress Party activist collapsed and died in East Godavari district, while a CRPF constable opened fire in self-defence in Guntur as high turnout and sporadic clashes marked Wednesday’s balloting in Seemandhra. Around 20 persons were injured in clashes between activists of rival parties.

Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwar Lal said around 76.80 per cent of the 3.68 crore voters exercised their franchise across 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in the region and the voting percentage is likely to touch 80. The highest turnout of 82.97 per cent was recorded in Guntur district and the lowest of 70 per cent in Visakhapatnam district.

The CEO and DGP B. Prasada Rao said the polling by and large was peaceful across the 13 districts barring a few incidents.

Fate of several top leaders, including TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu, YSR Congress leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, Union Ministers Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy, M.M. Pallam Raju, Kishore Chandra Deo and former Union Minister D. Purandeswari will be known on May 16 when the counting of votes will be taken up.

Re-polling has been ordered in polling station No.68 at Palakajeedi in Paderu Assembly Constituency (ST) after five persons, suspected to be Maoists, barged into the booth and burnt two Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). They also destroyed a jeep belonging to the polling officials.

At Inagantivaripeta in Seethanagaram mandal of the Rajahmundry Lok Sabha constituency, 61-year-old YSRC worker Nerla Desaiah collapsed and died. The incident occurred after police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse YSRC and Telugu Desam workers when they came to blows. Desaiah was reportedly caught in the melee. He collapsed and was taken to the nearby PHC at Seethanagaram where doctors declared him brought dead. Police said the YSRC functionaries later lodged a complaint alleging that Desaiah was throttled to death by a TDP leader, Mohan.

Mr. Bhanwar Lal said that Desaiah died of heart attack. He said that a voter, who was in a highly inebriated condition, died of heat stroke at Somavaram in Krishna district.

A CRPF constable opened fire in self-defence when a group of 30-40 men armed with sticks stormed into a polling station at Ramireddypalem village in Narsaraopet Assembly constituency and dragged the polling agent of TDP. As panic-stricken polling personnel ran out, the constable opened fire in the air to disperse the crowd. Polling resumed following a two-hour break after senior police officials rushed to the village.

Police vehicles damaged

In Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district, four constables sustained injuries and two police officers, including an SP rank officer from Karnataka, Rajesh Kumar, received bruises when the followers of YSRC candidate and sitting MLA, C. Adinarayana Reddy assaulted them outside a polling station at Devagudi. The activists also damaged glasspanes of three police vehicles. Police registered a case against Sudhir Reddy, son of Mr. Adinarayana Reddy, and others in connection with the incident.

Elsewhere in Kadapa, police fired teargas shells to quell a clash between YSRC and TDP supporters at Reddyvaripalle in Railway Kodur, while the car of former Minister P. Ramasubba Reddy, who is contesting on TDP ticket from Jammalamadugu Assembly constituency, was damaged by YSRCP activists.

In a similar incident in Guntur district, the vehicle of Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, Narsaraopet Lok Sabha TDP contestant, was damaged by a mob allegedly affiliated to the YSRC. At least 10 people suffered injuries in group clashes between TDP and YSRC workers at Isakadarsi and Nakkabotklapadu villages in Prakasam district.