Andhra Pradesh records 68% voter turnout amid incidents of violence

Mob attacks and burning of vehicles reported from Palnadu; MLA and voter slap each other in Tenali; ‘abducted’ TDP poll agents in Punganur traced

Updated - May 14, 2024 12:54 pm IST

Published - May 13, 2024 09:41 pm IST - GUNTUR 

Voters waiting for their turn in sperntine queues at a polling station at Undavalli in Guntur District on Monday.

Voters waiting for their turn in sperntine queues at a polling station at Undavalli in Guntur District on Monday. | Photo Credit: K.V.S. GIRI

Andhra Pradesh recorded a poll percentage of more than 68 by 5 p.m. as the voters exercised their franchise during the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections across the State, amid several reports of violence.

Even as the polling was scheduled to conclude by 6 p.m., hundreds of voters were seen in queues at 3,500 polling stations across the State by that time. The poll percentage is expected to cross 80%. 

There are a total of 4,14,01,887 registered voters in Andhra Pradesh, including 20339851 male, 21058615 female and 3421 transgenders. 

Also Read : Andhra Pradesh elections updates

Addressing the media, Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena said though there were incidents of violence, no serious or fatal injuries were reported and the polling was largely peaceful.

Asked about repolling, he said that it appeared there would be no need for it. “However, the final call will be taken after the Election Observers submit their reports. All the Election Observers and Returning Officers will convene meetings with the representative of political parties at their respective constituencies,” he said.  

Incidents of violence were reported from many polling stations. Macherla Assembly constituency in Palnadu district reported clashes between the YSRCP and TDP cadres. The activists of both parties were seen burning vehicles and hurling petrol bottles after setting those on fire at each other.

The EVMs, Ballot Units (BUs) and other election equipment were damaged at eleven polling stations including eight in Macherla Assembly constituency, two in Kodur and one in Darsi.

Referring to these incidents, Mr. Meena said that the technical staff verified all the Ballot Units and clarified that the data stored in them was safe and could be retrieved during the counting of votes. Polling continued in all these stations even after the poll equipment was damaged as the election authorities replaced them with new ones, he said.  

The authorities replaced 220 EVMs, BUs and around 600 VVPAT machines as they were not functioning properly when the polling began at 7 a.m. 

YSRCP MLA Annabathuni Sivakumar from Tenali Assembly constituency was put under house arrest after he allegedly attacked a voter who was waiting in the queue at a polling station.

The voter reportedly asked the MLA to wait for his turn in the queue line, which led to the exchange of heated arguments. Mr. Sivakumar and the voter slapped each other. The supporters of the MLA attacked the voter. A video clip of the incident went viral on the social media.

Meanwhile, the police traced three TDP polling agents, who were allegedly abducted from Punganur Assembly constituency by their rival group. Many political leaders were put under house arrest in Palnadu, Guntur, Annamayya districts, the CEO said.

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