In spite of the heavy polling on by-elections, the process was devoid of any major incident except verbal clashes and scuffles among the followers of the Congress, YSRCP and Telugu Desam -- over missing of names from the rolls at polling stations in Ongole, Kondareddypalli, Chitvel, Kandukuru and Yerupalli. About 10 persons suffered minor injures in these incidents.
Irate voters, most of them women, burnt a police jeep at Undrai in Parkal constituency when a sub-inspector prevented them from using an autorickshaw to reach the designated booth.
Lack of facilities
Voters of two booths in Polavaram boycotted the exercise on the plea that there was no Communist party candidate in the fray to vote for. Villagers at Kovuru and Kavali in Nellore Parliamentary constituency abstained complaining against lack of facilities at their hamlets as did the tribal people at nine ‘thandas' in West Godavari district.
At the end of the polling, Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwar Lal attributed the relative absence of violence to massive awareness created among the people by the media about the importance of elections in general.
Technology rendered the monitoring job easy for the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) V.S. Sampath in New Delhi and for the CEO in his chambers at the Secretariat here.
The senior officers and the Collectors in the 12 districts had a clear view of the goings-on in each of the 5,413 polling booths, thanks to the live web-casting facilitated by about 2,000 students from IITs from Basar, Nuzvid and Idupalapaya.
In fact, it was after seeing live, a presiding officer and a micro-observer at a polling station No. 60 in Ongole were replaced when they entered the voting compartment and pointed to the ceiling fan above, in what was apparently seen as an attempt to influence a voter.
The electronic voting machines were since shifted to designated strong rooms at the counting centres amidst heavy security accompanied by representatives from parties and contestants in some cases.