A Telegu Desam Party (TDP) leader was hacked to death in Anantapur's Tadipatri, Andhra Pradesh (AP) as clashes broke out between TDP and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) workers in the state as it votes in the 1st phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Thursday.
Local leader Chintha Bhaskar Reddy succumbed to his injuries after he was left severely injured in clashes between TDP and YSRCP workers.
Tension prevailed across various constituencies in Andhra Pradesh as clashes broke out between the rival party workers in the state on the polling day.The activists of the parties attacked each other in Puthalapattu Constituency in Bandarlapalli, Andhra Pradesh, ANI reported. The police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.
In Guntakal, former MLA and contesting candidate of Jana Sena Party, Madhusudan Gupta, smashed an EVM in a fit of rage alleging that party symbols were not properly printed on the ballot unit. He also shouted at the polling personnel on duty. Gupta was immediately taken into police custody. A mandal parishad member of YSRCP was seriously injured when TDP workers allegedly attacked him at a polling station in Eluru city.
In Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district, tension prevailed in Ponnathota village as YSRC and TDP workers indulged in stone-throwing. In Narsaraopet constituency in Guntur district, YSRCP leaders alleged TDP men ransacked a polling station in Yelamanda village and damaged the furniture.
Police personnel were also preventing YSRCP sympathisers from entering into the polling booth, they alleged. Minor trouble was also reported at a few other constituencies in Guntur, Prakasam and Anantapuramu districts as well but neither the election authorities nor the police confirmed the reports.
State Chief Electoral Officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi, however, said polling was going on peacefully across the state. In a statement, the CEO asked people not to believe in rumours as the poll process was going on peacefully. He said the technical defects in EVMs, reported from various places, have been rectified.
Talking to reporters, the Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu referred to technical glitches in EVMs and said he was demanding that ballot papers be re-introduced. "No developed country is using EVMs as they are prone to manipulation. We have hence been demanding that we revert to the ballot paper system," Naidu said.
This is the first general election in the state after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of Telangana in June 2014. There are a total of 3,93,45,717 registered voters, including 1,94,62,339 men, 1,98,79,421 women and 3,957 transgenders.
Of the total, 10.15 lakh are first-time voters in the 18-19 age group. As many as 2,118 and 319 candidates are in the fray for 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats respectively.
Polling would end at 5 pm in the Left-wing Extremism-affected areas, mostly those bordering Odisha and Chhattisgarh.