MLC polls held peacefully in Andhra Pradesh; counting on Thursday

Vijayawada: Biennial elections to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council were held mostly peacefully while there were minor clashes in a few places on Monday. The counting of the votes will be done on March 16, Thursday, amid tight security.

The polls covered three graduates’, two teachers’ and three local authorities’ constituencies. The turnout for the local authorities polling at Srikakulam was 96.91 per cent while it was 98.46 in West Godavari and 96.43 per cent in Kurnool at last count.

As for the graduates’ constituencies, the turnout at Srikakulam-Vizianagaram-Visakhapatnam was 59.77 per cent, at Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor 65.28 and Kadapa-Anantapur-Kurnool at 65.92 by end of the polling time at 4 pm.

For two teachers’ constituencies, the turnout at Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor was 84.92 per cent and at Kadapa-Anantapur-Kurnool 89.38 per cent.

The final percentage of polling for both the graduates’ and teachers’ constituencies were yet to be declared officially.

Elections to the five local authorities constituencies were unanimous.

State BJP chief Somu Veerraju alleged irregularities in the polling at Tirupati and sought repolling in booths 253, 259 and 232. He alleged that the polling officials did not allow challenge vote. BJP agent Satyanarayana was not allowed into the polling booth 69 in an Ongole school by the police, he alleged.

He alleged that the ruling party mobilised bogus voters to the polling booths at some places.

The principal opposition, the Telugu Desam, said it would move the AP High Court seeking justice as the ruling party resorted to rule violations to win the polls. At least 30 per cent of the votes polled in the graduates’ and teachers’ constituencies were bogus, it said.

TD politburo member Varla Ramaiah told the media that YSR Congress MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy and his son Abhinay were allowed inside the polling booth while their party leaders who questioned it were taken into custody by the police.

He also alleged that Y.V. Subba Reddy was allowed to campaign near the polling booths in violation of norms. He sought a report from the Chief Electoral Officer on the conduct of elections.

Meanwhile, the police booked 56 cases of violation of model code of conduct and seized 7,093 licensed weapons. Some 6,792 persons having criminal antecedents were bound over, 1,858 persons were served with non-bailable warrants, 2,909 litres of liquor as also cash of `75,94,350 and 4,300 pamphlets seized in raids.

The polling was held in 1,535 polling booths in 20 districts. Of these, 125 polling booths were declared as hyper sensitive, 498 sensitive and 912 booths normal and security arrangements made accordingly.

The election authorities were shifting the ballot boxes after completion of polling, to the strong rooms with the escort of armed forces -- to Chittoor, Anantapur, Kurnool, Eluru, Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam. A special cell is set up at the office of DGP to minor the counting of votes.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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