Police resort to mild lathi-charge to quell both the groups. The situation took an ugly turn at 4 p.m. when YSR Congress leader and former corporator M. Lakshmi, her husband, and supporters tried to barge into the polling station.

Tension prevailed at V.S. Krishna College polling station for about two hours from 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The police had to resort to mild lathi-charge at least a couple of times to bring the situation under control.

The problem started with the presence of leaders and former corporators from both the YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam Party at the polling station. The leaders were present since early hours, and both the parties accused each other of trying to influence the voters.

The situation took an ugly turn at 4 p.m. when YSR Congress leader and former corporator M. Lakshmi, her husband, and supporters tried to barge into the polling station alleging that TDP leaders were present inside the station and were influencing the voters.

This did not go well with TDP leader and former corporator Pattabhiram, who was present outside the centre with his supporters. This resulted in heated arguments and jostling between the supporters of the two parties.

To add fuel to the situation, both MLA candidates — Vamsi Krishna of the YSR Congress and Velagapudi Ramakrishna Babu of the TDP — arrived at the scene and tried to gatecrash into the polling station.

To bring things under control, the police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse both the groups.

Code violation

The police, however, succumbed to the pressure exerted by both the leaders and sent them inside the polling station, which was against the model code of conduct.

First of all, allowing leaders and a large number of supporters of political parties within the 100-metre radius of the polling station is illegal as per the code and, especially, when Section 144 under the CrPC is in force.

The police should have taken action early in the morning itself, but they were silent spectators, said a voter, who had come to exercise his franchise after attending duty in a PSU.

In the commotion, at least 30 voters would have gone back without casting their vote.

When a police officer was asked why they did not take action, he said, “We tried to convince them, but they did not budge. And, if we take strict action we will be accused of high-handedness.”

This apart, polling was peaceful across the city, barring a few minor incidents. There were no untoward incident, including in critical centres such as Gajuwaka High School, Peda Jalaripeta, and Relliveedhi.

As per reports reaching here, there was a mild lathi-charge at Pedagantyada High School and at a polling station in Pendurthi.

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