Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh recorded the average poll percentage of 60.78 in the MPTC/ZPTC elections held on Thursday. West Godavari district registered the highest poll percentage at 68.27 while Prakasam the lowest at 51.68.
Poll percentages recorded in other districts were as follows: Srikakulam-58.37, Vizianagaram-67.13, Visakhapatnam-65.25, East Godavari-63.07, Krishna-63.99, Guntur-57.25, Nellore-51.87, Kurnool-60.28, Anantapur-58.07, Kadapa-63.59 and Chittoor-61.34.
Though the polling began at 7am, the turnout of voters was slugging during the initial hours as the state’s average poll percentage recorded in the first two hours at 9am was 7.76. By 11am, it rose to 21.65. At 1pm, it was 37.26 and by 3pm, the poll percentage was recorded at 47.42.
Polling was peaceful all over the state with the exception of stray incidents or minor violence in some parts. Voters were seen standing in long queues braving the sweltering heat at several polling stations to cast their vote.
In Nellore district, a BJP supporter dumped a ballot box in a water tub at Ponugodu village of Anuma Samudram Peta mandal falling under Atmakur assembly segment following a row with the ruling party agents over helping the aged people to reach polling station to cast their votes.
District collector KVN Chakradhar Babu announced the repoll in the village on Friday. Tellagunta villagers of Bogole mandal boycotted the polling to express their protest over not providing drinking water facilities in the village.
In Prakasam district, the car of Darsi MLA Maddisetty Venugopal’s brother Ravindra was damaged as he went to Sivaramapuram village in Tallur mandal to see the polling trend.
In West Godavari, a voter identified as Seshadri Venkata Durga Prasad was arrested by the Undi police as he tried to pour ink on ballot papers at the 32nd polling station in the village.
In East Godavari, polling was stopped for some time at a polling station located Sakurru village in Amalapuram as the ‘Glass’ symbol of Jana Sena party was not printed on the ballot paper. The problem was rectified and the polling was continued.
A retired woman teacher Nrisimhadevara Simhachalam died while waiting for an auto-rickshaw to reach a polling station to cast her vote at Katrenikona.
Police booked a case against a voter Kasi Venkata Ramana for taking a selfie with the ballot paper at a polling station at Pallamkurru village in Katrenikona mandal. The election authorities declared his vote as invalid.
In Vizianagaram district, polling was stopped in three stations in Anti Peta polling centre in Seethanagaram mandal as the voters found the name of YSR Congress dummy nominee Senapati Lakshmi in the ballot paper for MPTC polls though the official nominee was Senapati Nirmala. A repoll is likely to be held on Friday.
Several adivasis in Visakhapatnam and other places faced a tough time to reach the polling stations for want of proper road connectivity. Hundreds of them crossed Matyasagedda in Arasu mandal to reach the polling stations.
In Kurnool, two groups of voters entered into heated arguments at Devanakonda as some of them tried to resort to cross-voting. Police rushed to the spot and restored normalcy.
In Kadapa, at Utpativaripalle of Badvel mandal, YSR Congress supporters acted as agents at a polling station instead of TD activists, forcing the TD nominee Sirisha Reddy and the party agents to stage a protest.
TD agents alleged that the signatures on the forms were not theirs.
In Rajuvaripeta of Chapadu mandal, YSR Congress activists did not allow a TD agent to sit in the polling station. MPTC nominee Rajeshwari tried to disrupt the polling, forcing the police to take her into custody.
In Guntur, TD activists from Gonepudi and Palapadu villages staged a protest in front of Narasaraopeta sub collector’s office, alleging that their polling agents were not being allowed to enter the polling stations by the YSR Congress leaders with the support from CI Krishnaiah.
The villagers from both the villages demanded a repoll and sought suspension of the CI. They alleged rigging of votes by YSR Congress leaders and submitted a representation to the officials.
In Srikakulam, Krishna, Chittoor and Anantapur districts, polling was peaceful.