73% polling in AP; TDP, YSRC claim 3 deaths in poll violence
Amaravati: Sporadic violence marred the polling to assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh Thursday, reportedly leaving two YSR Congress and one ruling TDP member dead as the state witnessed over 73 per cent voter turnout.
Incidents of EVM damage and stone pelting marked the high octane polling that saw a large number out of the over 3.97 crore eligible voters turning up braving the scorching summer heat.1
The election will decide the fate of incumbent chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and main opposition YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy, son of late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.
Other contenders include the Congress, BJP and the Jana Sena of Pawan Kalyan, who has tied up with BSP.
Official sources said clashes between TDP and YSRC workers were reported in Guntur, Anantapuramu, West Godavari, Prakasam, Kurnool and Kadapa districts, but did not specify deaths.
The polling was not affected in any place, they said.
Police also did not confirm the election-related killings.
Telugu Desam and YSR Congress issued statements reporting the deaths of their party members accusing each other of being responsible for the violence.
While about 73 per cent of polling was reported by closing time at 6 pm, authorities expect the final figure likely to cross 80 per cent. The state had recorded 76 per cent polling in 2014.
Polling was held Thurday simultaneously for 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state, in the first general election after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of Telangana in June, 2014.
The ruling TDP raised a hue and cry over malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and blamed the Election Commission for failing to conduct the elections properly.
Chandrababu Naidu went to the extent of claiming that 30 per cent of the EVMs encountered problems across the state, a charge the EC denied.
All allegations against the Election Commission are completely motivated. There was nothing amiss with the electronic gadgets though about 0.3 per cent of EVMs encountered technical glitches, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi said.
The YSRC said one of its workers was attacked with sickles by the TDP men and killed in Veerapuram village under Tadipatri constituency in Anantapuramu district while another was done to death in Tamballapalle in Chittoor district.
The TDP said its worker Sidda Bhaskar Reddy was killed by the opposition party in Veerapuram.
Five other people were injured in the violent clash in Veerapuram.