Over 68 p.c. turnout in Andhra Pradesh

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Braving heat wave conditions and tense atmosphere in some areas, people turned up in large numbers to cast their vote in elections held to 140 Assembly constituencies and 20 Lok Sabha seats in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema on Thursday. Serpentine queues were seen outside the booths from 7 a.m. itself as voters wanted to beat the heat. Almost all voters, wanted to cast votes early, leading to rush at polling stations. Voters complained of lack of shelter to protect them from the scorching sun and absence of drinking water facility.

Giving the polling figures received up to 5 p.m, Chief Electoral Officer I.V.Subba Rao said over 68 per cent of the 2.66 crore voters in ten districts exercised their franchise. This figure would go up as polling was continuing in about 500 booths following the decision to allow all those waiting in queues to caste their vote. As a result, polling continued beyond 8 p.m. in several booths.

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