Congress, TDP activists clash

Task completed: Two girls coming out of a polling station at Dharmavaram on Thursday.

Task completed: Two girls coming out of a polling station at Dharmavaram on Thursday.  

B. Chandrashekhar

Polling boycotted in protest against pending bills of Indiramma houses

People at some places did not vote till 11 a.m. as a contestant had not sent them money

ANANTAPUR: Polling to the 14 Assembly and two Parliamentary constituencies in Anantapur district was by and large peaceful with stray incidents taking place in a few places on Thursday. Women turned out in a large numbers to exercise their franchise. They ignored the scorching sun and waited in serpentine queues for their turn to vote.

Malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) was reported from different parts of the district in the initial hours of polling. However, they were rectified without much waste of time. Missing of names in the voters’ lists was complained in almost every polling station.

Clashes between Congress and TDP activists were reported from Rapthadu, Penukonda, Uravakonda, Kalyanadurg, Dharmavaram and Singanamala constituencies. Security personnel accompanying Congress candidate for Rapthadu constituency T. Prakash Reddy opened two rounds of fire into the air after a TDP mob allegedly tried to attack his vehicle at Kotha Gadikunta village in Ramagiri mandal, a TDP stronghold. Windshields of the candidate’s vehicle were said to have been broken in the incident.

Polling stopped

Special Police Officer Vijaykumar told The Hindu that the candidate went to the village after learning that the party’s polling agents were sent out forcibly. The polling was stopped immediately and was resumed after the police dispersed the mob with caning and ensured the agents’ return to the polling station.

Activists of the TDP reportedly obstructed the Congress candidate’s entry into Nasanakota village, another TDP stronghold. Minister for Agriculture N. Raghuveera Reddy allegedly peeped into the polling compartment to witness voting pattern in a polling station in Kalyanadurg and the TDP polling agents objected to it.

A police constable, Ravi, opened fire two rounds into the air at Chandooruvandlapalli in Gorantla mandal of Penukonda constituency after Congress and TDP activists clashed and attacked him. Congress polling agents allegedly insisted that the voters exercise their vote openly, but the TDP agents opposed and a clash ensued.

Aged voters were seen finding it difficult to use the EVMs to exercise their vote at several places but the polling officers stayed away from the voting machines fearing EC action. Activists of TDP and Congress allegedly took EVMs out of some polling station in Palturu in Vidapanakal mandal of Uravakonda segment and damaged them forcing the authorities to put off the polling after a group clash. An EVM was also taken away and damaged at Karnapudiki village in Singanamala segment.

Vote for note

A section of voters reportedly stayed away from voting at 75 Veerapuram village in Gummaghatta mandal in Rayadurg constituency protesting against pending bills of Indiramma houses. Voters at J. Venkatampalli, Pulakunta, Nemakallu and Gopalapuram in the segment also reportedly stayed away from voting till 11 a.m. as a contestant had not sent them money. They went for voting after an assurance by the candidate concerned over the phone.

According to the preliminary reports, 65 to 70 per cent polling was recorded in different constituencies.

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