Sporadic violence, missing names in voter list surface in AP and Telangana3 min read . Updated: 11 Apr 2019, 10:21 PM IST
- A TDP worker was killed, while others from the party and YSRCP wounded during clashes in different places in AP
- Angry voters raised slogans against the Election Commission for the delay in rectifying defunct EVMs in several districts
HYDERABAD : Incidents of sporadic violence and dysfunctional electronic voting machines (EM) were reported from different parts of Andhra Pradesh during the Lok Sabha and assembly polls on Thursday. A worker from the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was killed, while others from the TDP and opposition YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) were wounded during clashes in different places. YSRCP candidate from the Narsaraopet (in Guntur district) assembly seat was injured after his car was attacked by TDP workers.
A Jana Sena Party (JSP) candidate was also arrested for damaging an electronic voting machine (EVM) in Anantapur district. Angry voters also raised slogans against the Election Commission for the delay in rectifying defunct electronic voting machines (EVM) in several districts. Polling concluded with 74% of the electorate turning up to exercise their right on Thursday.
In AP, Madhusudhan Gupta, a candidate from the Gooty assembly constituency in Anantapur was seen throwing an EVM on the ground in anger. A video of him telling the media, “It’s completely bogus, it’s completely wrong. Is it worth voting in such an election? What’s wrong in me breaking this? They are conducting the election so unjustly," surfaced soon after the incident.
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An official from the AP chief electoral officer’s office, requesting anonymity, said that a total of 437 complaints of malfunctioning have been received, and that most of them were from the ruling TDP. “All problems have been solved," he added. AP IT minister (and son of chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu) was also on ground in his constituency of Mangalagiri, which falls in the capital region of Amaravati, checking polling booths with regard to complaints of dysfunctional EVMs.
The official also added that more than 33 EVMs were replaced based on complaints. YSRCP president Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, at a press conference on Thursday evening in Hyderabad, alleged that AP chief minister Chandrababu Naidu had tried to reduce the polling percent in the state. “But the voter turn out was good, and I thank all mothers, sisters, fathers, etc who came out to vote," he stated, also claimed that two of his party worker had died in clashes.
Apart from the 25 Lok Sabha seats, assembly elections for the 175 seats in AP are also being held simultaneously .
Voter name deletions reported in Telangana again
In Telangana, which also went to polls on Thursday, complaints from name deletions from electoral rolls were once again reported by citizens from different parts of Hyderabad and the state. A similar thing had happened during the assembly polls last year as well, when mass deletions were reported from across the state, prompting the chief electoral officer Rajat Kumar to apologize to the public.
Many voters even took to social media to complain about their names missing from the electoral rolls. The names also included some prominent people, and Shobhana Kamineni, the executive vice-chairperson of Apollo Hospitals, and a former president of the Confederation of Indian Industry, was unhappy after discovering that her name was also deleted.
In a Twitter video she posted that she felt “cheated as a citizen". In the 2018 Telangana assembly polls, ace badminton player Jwala Gutta also faced a similar situation, and took to Twitter, complaining about the same. Till 5 pm on Thursday, nearly 61% of voters had turned up to vote. The percent is likely to go a little higher after the final tally is confirmed by Friday.
When asked about the voter deletions, Rajat Kumar, chief electoral officer, Telangana, said that Kamineni’s case would be looked into, but refuted that many names had been deleted. When informed that voters had even complained about not being able to vote in spite of finding their names on the absentee, shifted, and duplicate (ASD) list, Kumar said that they can lodge a complaint with the EC, and went as far as to say that questions on the issue were “motivated".
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