ANDHRA PRADESH

Polling peaceful in Guntur

An elderly woman being escorted by a girl to a polling booth in Ponnur on Thursday. —

An elderly woman being escorted by a girl to a polling booth in Ponnur on Thursday. —   | Photo Credit: Photo: T. Vijaya Kumar

Special Correspondent

Election Commission orders re-poll in two polling stations in the district



Polling percentage is put at 73.18

SP happy over peaceful process



GUNTUR: Over 73.18 per cent of the electorate exercised its franchise in a rigging-free atmosphere in the district on Thursday.

Except for minor incidents, the elections were relatively peaceful, as there were no incidents of hurling of bombs and persons suffering injuries in clashes among warring groups.

The fact that the Election Commission ordered re-poll only in two polling stations as against 16 in the 2004 elections vouches for the free and fair process.

Some small incidents led to the house arrest of four contestants, who included Ministers – Mopidevi Venkata Ramana in Repalle and Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy – and their TDP rivals – Anagani Satya Prasad Goud and Kodela Siva Prasada Rao.

Minor incidents

Mr. Siva Prasada Rao, who was in the fray from Narsaraopet Assembly constituency, told The Hindu that he received a complaint of rigging in Pamidipadu village, and when he went there some people pelted stones at his car while he was in the booth.

The police later asked both the Congress and TDP candidates, as well as the Minister’s son Kasu Mahesh, to stay indoors.

Congress and TDP candidates in Repalle raised a hue and cry over alleged rigging in one of the polling booths and alleged manhandling of some persons by sitting MLA’s brother Srinivas Rao at Nizampatnam, which led to some tense moments, which police were able to handle effectively.

Face-to-face

In Macherla constituency at Sirigiripadu, both the Telugu Desam and Congress candidates came face-to-face in a village and their supporters clashed.

All of them were taken into custody by the police and released later.

Similarly, another Congress leader K. Punna Reddy, who was allegedly involved in violence at Rentala and another village, was taken into custody and released later.

Superintendent of Police Mahesh Chandra Laddha expressed happiness over the violence-free conduct of elections.

While in 2004 71.69 per cent cast their vote in the district, this time round the percentage slightly increased to 73.18.

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