The election to the maiden Kuppam municipality’s 24 wards was largely peaceful and a brisk 35.57% voting was reported by 11 a.m., with enthusiastic women, students, youth and elderly people turning up at the booths. Of the 25 wards, one ward was made unanimous to the YSRCP in Chittoor. All the 48 polling stations saw huge voter-turnout, standing in queue lines. The voting which got slacked from noon is expected to pick up from 2 p.m. onwards, with a projection of over 80% polling.
Amidst reports of the possible visit of TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu to Kuppam to personally examine voting patterns at the booths, the police had deployed additional forces at vulnerable junctions.
The police made a mild lathi-charge to disperse a mob of TDP cadres at the local party office in Kuppam. The local leaders alleged that though they had stopped two buses carrying outsiders into Kuppam and informed the police, they were allowed to disperse towards the polling booths. Cadres of both sides were seen distributing biryani packets to the public at several wards.
The police had a tough time in controlling mob frenzy in most wards with the Telugu Desam Party cadres alleging that the police were freely allowing the ruling party workers to bring outsiders into the booths. The TDP activists also posted the pictures of strangers and others purported to be YSRCP cadres from neighbouring mandals at the polling stations in the social media.
Joint Director (Special Enforcement Bureau) Vidyasagar Naidu, posted as the special officer for bandobasth in Kuppam, said that as many as 15 polling stations considered sensitive were kept under constant surveillance.
The TDP cadres, taking objection to the presence of Chittoor YSRCP MP M. Reddappa in Kuppam, said that he was not a local to Kuppam, but was allowed to enter the polling stations.
Meanwhile, tension prevailed at the district police office in Chittoor, when TDP activists in large numbers tried to barge into the SP office to lodge a complaint against poll violations resorted to by the YSRCP.