Many felt a strong need to vote this time, in the wake of bifurcation. It’s our responsibility to elect the right candidate to ensure better future for the State," said P. Priyanka, an MCA student who reached Tenali from Hyderabad.

They were keen and enthusiastic. As the clock clicked 7 in the morning, many first-time voters were seen stepping into polling stations to cast their votes in Vijayawada and Guntur districts. Not minding the long queues, they waited patiently for their turn to cast vote and proudly displayed the ‘inked’ finger after coming out.

Most youngsters, including a good number of female voters, arrived at the polling stations in groups. A few of them even forced their family members to join them in casting vote and this trend, perhaps, contributed to the increase in the polling percentage, which crossed 70 per cent by 4 p.m. in the two districts.

“It is my right and it will help me pick the best government. There is a sense of satisfaction after stepping out of the polling station,” said Srilatha, an engineering student.

Crowds at polling stations in Tenali, Kollipara, Vallabhapuram, Kolakaluru and Ponnur areas in Guntur district included a good number of youngsters. Many students arrived at their native places from Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai and other cities to exercise their franchise.

“This is the first time I voted and I am very happy. It’s our responsibility to elect the right candidate to ensure better future for the State,” said P. Priyanka, an MCA student who reached Tenali from Hyderabad.

An LLB student, Haneesha, came to her parents’ house at Kollipara village in Guntur district, from Vijayawada. “My friends studying at different places have come to vote and we met here in our village. It was like a festival,” said Ms. Haneesha, showing the indelible mark on her finger.

As per the latest electoral rolls, there are over 1 lakh voters aged between 18 and 20 in both Krishna and Guntur districts. Given the considerable number of votes, they will cast an impact on the prospects of many candidates in fray during these elections.

Many people felt a strong need to vote this time, especially in the wake of bifurcation. “There is a lot of uncertainty and fear among people about their future and development of Seemandhra region. We need to play a constructive role,” said John Titus, a student from Vijayawada.

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