No untoward incidents reported, thanks to deployment of thousands of police and paramilitary personnel
Elections to Gannavaram and Penamalur Assembly segments of the Machilipatnam Parliamentary constituency went on peacefully amid tight security. The enthusiasm of people was evident from the high turnout witnessed in the two Assembly segments.
There were no untoward incidents, thanks to the deployment of thousands of police and paramilitary personnel. In contrast, only a few party workers were present at polling stations owing to stringent monitoring by poll observers and video-graphing of the proceedings.
Polling was brisk in the first two hours (from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.), as voters lined up right from the morning in anticipation of the summer heat, which was coincidentally not so high.
The number of voters grew steadily towards the evening. Huge crowds were seen at polling stations set up in some vacant warehouses on the A.P. State Seeds Development Corporation Limited District Manager Office premises at Nidamanur and ZP High School on Penamalur main road.
There were no significant complaints of malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), but at many places, voters had no clue if those possessing the Electors’ Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) needed to produce voter slips also and vice-versa in spite of clear instructions from the Election Commission that any of them (EPIC or voter slips) was enough to register their votes. However, polling staff at some stations insisted that people with EPIC had to produce voter slips as well. However, things got streamlined after Returning Officers got clarifications from the higher-ups.
TDP Gannavaram constituency candidate Vallabhaneni Vamsi Mohan and his wife cast their vote at the ZP Boy’s High School, where a strong posse of policemen had been deployed since Tuesday night. He said the situation appeared to be favourable to the TDP and asserted that only N. Chandrababu Naidu was capable of developing Andhra Pradesh.
YSRC candidate Dutta Ramachandra Rao came along with supporters and left immediately after taking a quick look at the polling trend and security and other arrangements. The situation at Penamalur was peaceful, where the TDP’s Bode Prasad is pitted against the YSRC’s Kukkala Vidyasagar. This segment is represented by the present YSRC candidate for the Machilipatnam Parliamentary constituency Kolusu Parthasarathy.
Meanwhile, R.H. Singh, General Observer for Gannavaram, Gudivada, Pamarru (SC) and Penamalur constituencies, said there were no major disturbances.