Andhra Pradesh: Re-poll ordered at two centres in PNC MLC elections

Update: 2023-03-14 18:30 GMT
Voting began at 7 AM for 252 wards across seven urban local bodies. (Photo: PTI/Representational Image)

Tirupati: Amid allegations of rigging during polling on Monday for two Legislative Council seats – one teacher and one graduate – from the combined districts of Prakasam, Nellore and Chittoor (PNC), Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered re-polling in two polling booths of the Tirupati city.

Returning officer and Chittoor district collector M. Hari Narayanan on Tuesday announced that voters of two polling stations – No. 229 located at Government Girls High School in Chinna Bazaar Street and No. 233 in Zilla Parishad High School at Satyanarayana Puram – will have to again cast their votes on Wednesday, March 15, from 8 am to 4 pm.

Opposition parties including Telugu Desam, BJP, CPI and CPM had on Monday alleged that ruling the YSR Congress had resorted to booth capturing and bogus voting at various centres in Tirupati city.

Amid these allegations, Tirupati district collector K. Venkataramana Reddy enquired into the matter and sent a report to the ECI.

“After presiding officers of booth numbers 229 and 223 in Tirupati reported rigging, we stopped polling and also filed cases. Following directions of the ECI, we have ordered re-polling in these two polling centres on Wednesday, March 15,” the collector said in a statement on Tuesday.

YSRC leaders, however, denied the charges of rigging. They claimed that voting has been "free and fair". They remarked that several bogus voters, who did not even complete their SSC, had been enrolled in the voters' list and allowed to cast their votes.

While polling recorded in Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor graduates' constituency on Tuesday is 70.66 per cent, the teachers' constituency in the combined three districts witnessed a massive 89.53 per cent voting.

With polling on Tuesday getting over, sealed ballot boxes have been shifted to the strong rooms at SVCET College in Chittoor on Tuesday amid tight security and vigil using CCTV cameras. Returning officer Hari Narayanan supervised sealing of the strong rooms in the presence of contesting candidates and representatives of political parties.

Votes of the graduates’ constituency will be counted at RVS Engineering College in Chittoor, while RVS Law College will be the venue for counting the votes polled in the teacher’s constituency.

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