ANDHRA PRADESH

Tech hitches delay polling

Staff Reporter

Elderly turn out in large numbers

VIJAYAWADA: Voters waiting in long queues outside the polling booths for their turn to cast their vote was a common scenario in several constituencies in West Krishna region on Thursday. Women outnumbered men at many polling booths and they waited patently, even as the queue did not move swiftly due to the technical snags developed in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the morning hours.

Around 9 a.m., senior citizens swarmed the polling booth at Velagaleru village of G. Konduru mandal, under Mylavaram Assembly constituency. Accompanied by their grandchildren, they cast their vote by spending at least an hour in the queue. In contrast, the long queue was filled with youngsters at Chevuturu village of the same mandal.

Traditional attire

Technical hitches in EVMs were the most common problem encountered in many polling booths, due to which polling was delayed by an hour or two. At Krishnaraopalem village in Tiruvuru Assembly constituency, commencement of polling was delayed by two hours due to this problem.

Lambada women reached the booth in their traditional attire to cast their vote. As the queue moved very slowly, they began singing songs till the police raised objection. Men in many places were seen in an inebriated condition and picking up arguments with the police and the villagers. At Alluru village of Nandigama Assembly constituency, a few drunkards picked up an argument with the security personnel of the central reserve force. There was a communication gap due to the language problem.

There was remarkable rush at the polling booths even in the afternoon. Braving the scorching sun, voters turned up to cast their vote at Nandigama. Clad in ‘burkhas’, Muslim women stood outside Don Bosco School, where the polling station was located. As holiday was declared to shops and establishments, all the roads wore a deserted look.

Except emergency services like medical shops and a few eateries, no other shop was opened till the evening. There was a drop in the number of services being operated by the APSRTC in the district.

The voting continued till 5 p.m. in many booths, and those who entered the premise of the polling station by 5 p.m. too were allowed to cast their vote.

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