Violence, clashes and kidnaps mar Andhra Pradesh’s simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and state assembly

The polling is scheduled from 7 am to 6 pm in the Andhra Pradesh, barring a few places where it will conclude one or two hours earlier.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 13, 2024 | 12:50 PMUpdatedMay 13, 2024 | 8:49 PM

Voters at a polling booth.

Andhra Pradesh is polling for the 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats and violence, attacks, and kidnaps have marred the polls in the first few hours.

On Monday, 13 May, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Mukesh Kumar Meena said three TDP polling agents who were allegedly kidnapped in Chittoor district have been traced and secured.

According to a press release from the CEO’s office, the TDP agents were kidnapped from Bokaramanda village in Chittoor district’s Sadum mandal, which falls under the Punganuru Assembly constituency.

“TDP district in-charge Jagan Mohan Raju complained that TDP agents belonging to polling stations 188, 189 and 199 were kidnapped by YSRCP leaders while going to the polling stations,” said Meena.

Consequently, the CEO noted that Chittoor district election officials and the Police department responded quickly, rescuing the kidnapped agents from Pileru and later enabled them to attend to their duties.

Further, Meena observed that a probe is underway to identify the kidnappers.

Also Read: Andhra police book actor Allu Arjun for MCC violation ahead of polling

Clashes and violence

In another incident, TDP and YSRCP workers clashed at booths 63, 64, and 65 in the Chejarla Mandal, Nellore.

Similar clashes were also reported from Palnadu and Macherla.

While in Tenali, a fight broke out between the voter and YSRCP MLA Annabathina Shiva Kumar, as the voter questioned the MLA for skipping the queue.

Irked by the questioning, the MLA was seen slapping the voter.

In return, the voter slapped back at the MLA, and his supporters stepped in, hitting the voter.

In Krishnapuram, Chittoor district, YSRCP agent, Suresh, was attacked with a knife. He has been admitted to a government hospital, is undergoing treatment.

Election officials said the assailants were arrested and booked for attempted murder.

Also Read: In battle for Andhra Pradesh, will beneficiaries bail out Jagan Mohan Reddy?

Simultaneous elections

The state has till 9 am recorded, 9.05 percent voter turnout for the Lok Sabha seats while it was 9.21 percent for the Assembly.

The polling is scheduled from 7 am to 6 pm in the state, barring a few places where it will conclude one or two hours earlier.

Governor S Abdul Nazeer, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu along with their respective family members, were among the early voters in Andhra Pradesh on Monday.

The YSRCP is contesting in all 175 Assembly seats and 25 Lok Sabha segments in the state.

As part of a seat-sharing deal among NDA partners, the TDP was allocated 144 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha constituencies while the BJP is contesting from six Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats.

The actor Pawan Kalyan-led Janasena is contesting two Lok Sabha and 21 Assembly seats.

(With PTI inputs)