Massive turnout in Seemandhra

Massive turnout in Seemandhra

Polling started at a brisk pace in the morning with long queues of people seen outside the polling booths in most of the 25 Lok Sabha and 175 State Assembly constituencies in the region.

By P S Jayaram

Published: Thu 8 May 2014, 9:02 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:51 PM

Barring group clashes mainly between the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress (YSRC) workers reported from a few places, polling in Seemandhra on Wednesday was by and large peaceful with the State Election Commission expecting a record voter turnout of 85 to 90 percent by the time polling comes to an end later in the evening.

The Election Commission (EC) fearing large-scale violence, had thrown an unprecedented security blanket across all the 13 districts in Seemandhra, deploying over 1.2 million police personnel, 272 companies of central paramilitary forces and 20,000 security personnel drawn from the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka to ensure peaceful polling.

State Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwarlal told mediapersons that polling in most of the 13 districts of Seemandhra, which will form the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh on June 2 when the new state of Telangana will come into existence, was upwards of 60 percent at 4 PM, and with still two hours left for polling, the turnout could even touch 90 percent.

Polling started at a brisk pace in the morning with long queues of people seen outside the polling booths in most of the 25 Lok Sabha and 175 State Assembly constituencies in the region.

A total of 333 candidates are in the fray for the 25 Parliamentary seats while another 2,243 will lock horns for the 175 seats with most places facing multi-cornered contest. The main fight, however, will be between the TDP-BJP combine and the YSRC led by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, son of former chief minister late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy.

Police sources said six persons were injured in a clash between YSRC and TDP activists in Parachur in Prakasam district. Three police vehicles were damaged in an attack by villagers in Devagudi in Jammalamadugu of Kadapa district. A police officer was also injured in the attack. Clashes were also reported from Anantapur, Chittoor and Guntur districts.

Bhanwarlal, referring to incidents of attacks on cameramen and TV channel broadcast vans at Nidavalur under Chandragiri constituency in Chittoor district, and an attack on an Assistant Sub Inspector by anti-social elements in Kadapa district, said cases would be booked and action taken against the culprits.

A police team headed by a DSP with four sub-inspectors and 40 constables rushed to Nidavalur and brought the situation under control, he said, adding that polling was, however, not disrupted.

Police fired in the air at Rampicharla in Guntur district to disperse supporters of clashing rival groups and brought the situation under control, the CEO said.

Meanwhile, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi evinced keen interest in the polling process in Seemandhra, where his party has an electoral understanding with the TDP and is hopeful of reaping rich dividends. Modi spoke to TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu over phone and enquired about the polling pattern in Seemandhra, TDP sources said.

YSRC President Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, speaking to reporters after casting his vote in his native Pulivendula village in Kadapa district, said: “Our options are open, and we are not in a hurry to support anybody. We did not have any pre-poll understanding with any party, and hence, our options are open.”

The YSRC chief is contesting the Pulivendula Assembly constituency while his mother Y S Vijayamma is contesting the Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha seat.

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