CEO releases tentative voting percentage; EC to take a final decision on repoll

A heavy voter turnout was witnessed on Sunday in the by-elections in the Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies, where the YSR Congress, the ruling Congress and the TDP were locked in triangular contests, although there were several independents in the fray.

Close to 70 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise in the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency. Pulivendula recorded a whopping 81 per cent, a clear indication of the keen contest between Y.S Vijayamma and her brother-in-law Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy of the ruling Congress.

Figure may go up

The official figures given by Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwarlal put the polling percentage at 69.5 at 5 p.m. when voting was still going on in some booths.

This figure is likely to rise when the numbers from all seven Assembly segments are collated but may fall short of 75.69 per cent recorded in 2009.

The Badvel Assembly segment also registered a turnout in excess of 80 per cent, while Mydukur and Proddatur recorded over 70 per cent each. The lowest turnout of 57 per cent was witnessed in the Kadapa Assembly segment, while the Kamalapuram and Jammalamadugu segments recorded 63 per cent and 65 per cent voting, respectively.

Mr. Bhanwarlal said the election passed off peacefully with no major untoward incident reported from any segment. Police fired four rounds in the air at Siddareddygaripalle village in Chakraypet mandal in the Pulivendula segment where warring groups indulged in heavy stone-throwing.

Reports of group clashes, stone-throwing and intimidation of rivals came from at least four other places where police resorted to lathi-charge.

The Telugu Desam complained of “excesses'' committed by the followers of Mr. Jagan and the ruling Congress in preventing its polling agents from entering the booths at several places. It targeted the Chief Electoral Officer for ignoring its repeated requests to ensure transparency by not allowing people to watch the live webcast of the proceedings.

Mr. Bhanwarlal, however, claimed that the election authority conducted the bypoll in a systematic manner and the allegations against the District Collector were “false.”