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`Fear factor' keeps voters away

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DIFFERENT WORRY: A Lambada woman checking her name in the voter list at a booth during repolling at Seripally in Nalgonda district on Friday. - PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL
DIFFERENT WORRY: A Lambada woman checking her name in the voter list at a booth during repolling at Seripally in Nalgonda district on Friday. - PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL

Staff Reporter

Only 20 villagers of S. Kondepalli in Putlur mandal turn up to cast their votes

Police sent to Suddakuntapalli village to assure voters of safety S. Kondepalli voters protest against `neglect' of their village Minor incidents due to lack of police security, says Collector

ANANTAPUR: Repolling in 10 polling stations in the district was held peacefully amid tight security arrangements on Friday. Though repolling was peaceful, it was held in a tense atmosphere, particularly in Mavaturu, Narnagepalli, Kambalapalli and S. Kondepalli.

In all, 61.46 per cent votes were polled in two polling stations each at Mavaturu (10 and 11) in Penukonda mandal, Narnagepalli (4 and 5) and Kambalapalli (11 and 12) in Roddam, Kunukuntla (5 and 6) in Tadimarri and one polling station each at D. Cherlopalli (27) in Puttaparthi and S. Kondepalli (15) in Putlur Turnout of voters was very thin in the forenoon in all the repolling stations. Less than 50 per cent polling was recorded till 2 pm.

About 50 policemen and officers were found at each repolling station.

Voters of Suddakuntapalli, a habitation of Mavaturu, did not turn up to cast their votes as local Congress leaders allegedly visited the village on Thursday night and warned the villagers against turning up for voting. The voters were warned of serious consequences if cast their votes.

The Congress leaders were learnt to have argued with the villagers that they (Congress supporters) were not allowed to vote when the TDP was in power and now it was their turn. After learning the fact, district Collector Dasari Kadmial and Superintendent of Police Sanjay Kumar Jain sent police officers to the village to assure the voters of safety if they turned up for voting.

However, villagers decided against voting fearing that policemen would not come to their rescue.

As a result, only 36 out of 170 voters of the village, presumably Congress supporters, turned up for voting.

Voters of S. Kondepalli of Putlur mandal, too, decided to remain passive in the repolling in protest against "neglect of their village" by parties all these years. However, it was learnt that they were offended with the ink-pouring into a ballot box by TDP MPTC candidate on Wednesday. Though S. Kondepalli was a TDP stronghold, villagers were said to have decided to support the Congress in the repolling. But they changed their mind and remained passive due to fear of differences in the village.

Villagers' decision

Instead of boycotting the repolling, the village was learnt to have taken a decision on Thursday night that only 20 out of 248 votes would be polled. Accordingly, only 20 voters turned up and cast their votes.

About 60 per cent polling was recorded on Wednesday till the polling was suspended at 11.15 a.m., after a TDP polling agent was beaten up and sent out.

Meanwhile, the Collector and the SP visited all the repolling stations. Speaking at Mavaturu, the Collector attributed the minor incidents during the Wednesday's polling to insufficient police security at the polling stations.


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