Voters brave scorching heat to cast vote

IT’S THEIR DAY: A woman with her baby waiting for her turn to cast vote at Burugapudi village in Rajanagaram constituency on Thursday.

IT’S THEIR DAY: A woman with her baby waiting for her turn to cast vote at Burugapudi village in Rajanagaram constituency on Thursday.  

B.V.S. Bhaskar

Even a 90-year-old woman exercises her franchise at a polling booth in Ramachandrapuram

Poll percentage highest in Rajanagaram

It was followed by Kothapeta

RAJAHMUNDRY: East Godavari women voters proved their empowerment by exercising their franchise beating 44 degrees Celsius temperature in the entire district, by waiting hours together in front of polling stations on Thursday. The voter’s verdict in the biggest district of State with three Parliamentary and 19 Assembly segments, East Godavari was quite calm like a sea before storm. The turnout of voter was voluntary and even a 90-year old woman exercised her vote in one of the polling stations in Ramachandrapuram town unconcerned about heat wave. Long queues of both men and women on the hot road in Mandapeta shocked even policemen, who are helpless in providing any sort of shelter.

However, Gudala village near Amalapuram, in Konaseema which witnessed community clashes just 48 hours before polling was under police seize and 50 per cent polling was reported before 1 p.m. in only one polling station arranged by Revenue authorities.

Those injured in clashes also actively participated in voting. “Injuries can be cured within a week or two, if we miss the chance of voting, we have to wait for another five years,” says Attili Sattibabu, who is with head bandages and plasters on face.

On the other hand, thanks to entire police machinery which saw the polling to go off peacefully, except in Bolusu Tippa, a fishermen village in Katrenikona mandal in Konaseema, no untoward incident was reported from any quarter of the district.

Despite intensive training, polling staff failed to keep EVMs ready by 7 a.m. in many polling booths and it took even two hours to start polling in few stations.

Meanwhile, Polling Officer M. Venugopala Rao and Assistant Polling Officer K. Suvarna Raju in Polamuru polling booth (No.27) of Anaparti Assembly segment was suspended by the District Election Officer Gopalakrishna Dwivedi on Thursday afternoon for assisting an old-aged voter in casting his vote by entering the poll counter.

Poll percentage

Eighteen Assembly constituencies in East Godavari district on an average recorded 65.03 per cent of polling on Thursday, while it was 64.67 in the three Parliamentary constituencies.

District Election Officer Gopalakrishna Dwivedi announced the poll percentage at Kakinada along with Returning Officer and Joint Collector K. Sasidhar.

According to him, Kakinada Parliamentary constituency recorded 65 per cent, Amalapuram (SC) 66 and Rajahmundry 63 per cent polling.

When it comes to Assembly constituencies, Rajanagaram recorded the highest percentage of 77 followed by Kothapeta 75, Tuni 62, Prathipadu 65, Pithapuram 66, Kakinada Rural 64.5, Peddapuram 65, Anaparthy 66, Kakinada City 63, Ramachandrapuram 51, Mummidivaram 67, Amalapuram (SC) 65, Razole (SC) 72, Gannavaram (SC) 67, Mandapeta 66, Rajahmundry City 52, Rajahmundry Rural 58 and Jaggampeta 69.

An incident occurred in Balusutippa village of Katrenikona mandal where police opened fire in the air when two groups belong to fishermen community wanted to settle their old rivalry. They took polling as an advantage and made mutual allegations of enticing the voters.

Polling suspended

Polling was suspended for a while as the tempers ran high. Superintendent of Police Charu Sinha rushed to the village and supervised the security measures. The situation continued to be tense as the warring groups were on the brink of fighting a pitched battle. Otherwise, no untoward incident occurred in the district.

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