Sporadic Violence Mars Polling In Andhra Pradesh

(MENAFN- IANS) Amaravati, May 13 (IANS) Sporadic incidents of violence, including between a YSRCP MLA and a voter, marred the polling in Andhra Pradesh for simultaneous elections to the state Assembly and Lok Sabha on Monday.

Supporters of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) clashed in a few places. The violence disrupted the polling process for some time at a couple of polling centres.

In Tenali in Guntur district, YSRCP MLA and candidate for Assembly elections, A. Sivakumar attacked a voter at a polling station. The voter raised an objection when the YSRCP MLA allegedly jumped the line. After a heated exchange, the YSRCP leader slapped him. When the voter hit the MLA back, the latter's supporters thrashed him. The incident sent panic among voters, including women. Police intervened to bring the situation under control.

The Election Commission took serious note of the incident and ordered that Sivakumar be placed under house arrest till the completion of the polling.

The YSRCP, however, said Sivakumar went to the polling booth after receiving information that women voters were harassed by TDP workers. It alleged that TDP workers abused Sivakumar as well, which led to the clash.

Tension gripped Tadipatri in Anantapur as the supporters of the YSRCP and the TDP clashed near a polling booth. Both the groups pelted stones at each other. A BSF jawan was injured in stone pelting.

Both parties have blamed each other for the incidents of violence.

Meanwhile, the TDP has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission about the violence at various places. It claimed that due to violence resorted to by the YSRCP, many voters left without casting their votes.

TDP president and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu wrote a letter to the Election Commission that over 120 incidents of violence were reported during the polling. He alleged that at all places, YSRCP leaders resorted to violence and that police acted with bias.

The TDP alleged that YSRCP leaders attacked TDP and Jana Sena workers in Tirupati when they tried to resist attempts to do rigging.

Incidents of violence were reported from Sri Sathya Sai, Guntur, Palnadu, Konasaeema, Madhurawada, Nellore and other districts.

Chandrababu Naidu alleged that there was no protection even for police personnel. He appealed to people to foil the conspiracy.

On the other hand, the YSRCP alleged that TDP men attacked and injured a YSRCP member at a polling booth in Ongole constituency.



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