Polling for the first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections is still underway in Andhra Pradesh but violence has been reported from multiple parts of the state.
Till 3 pm, the southern state saw a voter turnout of 55 percent for the 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly seats on Thursday.
Two people, a ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) worker and another belonging to the main Opposition YSR Congress were killed in Anantapur district in a poll-related violence.
#WATCH Andhra Pradesh: A clash broke out between workers of TDP and YSRCP at a polling station in Srinivasapuram Village of Gurajala assembly constituency in Guntur district. #IndiaElections2019 #AndhraPradeshElections2019 pic.twitter.com/lF0edCFuFf
— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
The TDP worker, identified as Sidda Bhaskar Reddy, was hacked to death at Veerapuram in Anantapur’s Tadipatri constituency. YSR Congress' Pulla Reddy was also killed in the clashes in which party workers pelted stones at each other, according to police sources. In Guntakal, former MLA and a Jana Sena Party candidate, Madhusudan Gupta, smashed an EVM in a fit of rage alleging that party symbols were not properly printed on the ballot unit.
#WATCH Jana Sena MLA candidate Madhusudhan Gupta smashes an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at a polling booth in Gooty, in Anantapur district. He has been arrested by police. #AndhraPradesh pic.twitter.com/VoAFNdA6Jo — ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
A mandal parishad member of YSRC 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, YSRC leaders alleged TDP men ransacked a polling station in Yelamanda village and damaged the furniture. Police personnel were also preventing YSRC 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.
#WATCH Andhra Pradesh: A clash broke out between workers of TDP and YSRCP at a polling station in Srinivasapuram Village of Gurajala assembly constituency in Guntur district. #IndiaElections2019 #AndhraPradeshElections2019 pic.twitter.com/lF0edCFuFf — ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
State Chief Electoral Officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi, however, said polling peacefully conducted across the state. In a statement, the CEO asked people not to believe in rumours as the poll process was going on peacefully.
TDP president and chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu condemned the killing of his party worker and accused the YSR Congress of indulging in violence to win the election.
Countering this, the YSRC alleged that followers of local TDP MP and MLA, the JC brothers (MP JC Diwakar Reddy and MLA, JC Prabhakar Reddy), tried to rig the votes in a polling booth at Veerapuram.
Pulla Reddy was attacked with sickles, resulting in his death,the YSRC claimed. Another YSRC worker was also injured in the incident, the party said in a statement.
With inputs for PTI
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Updated Date: Apr 11, 2019 18:51:12 IST