Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor MLC polls held \'smoothly\'; allegations of bogus voting

TIRUPATI: Polling for the biennial elections for two Legislative Council seats --one each of teachers and graduates from the combined districts of Prakasam, Nellore and Chittoor – was held smoothly on Monday. However, the opposition parties raised allegations of bogus voting.

Tirupati city witnessed tense situations throughout the day as all the opposition parties including the Telugu Desam (TD), BJP and the Left parties staged protests, alleging bogus voting by the YSR Congress (YSRC).

The polling started at 8am and ended at 4pm across 453 polling stations in the three combined districts. The final polling per cent reached 65.28 for the graduates' and 84.92 for the teacher’s constituencies.

Tirupati collector Venkataramana and SP Parameswara said the polling was held peacefully. "Special officers ensured peaceful voting. Complaints of rigging came from the polling stations of 229 and 233 in Tirupati city, following which the polling process was halted, cases were registered, and a report sent to the EC,” the collector said in a statement.

The opposition parties slammed the collector and SP over their statements and said they were unduly being loyal to the YSRC. The YSRC has resorted to rigging in Tirupati and ferried non-graduates from outside the city to impersonate as graduate voters, they said and demanded that the elections in Tirupati city be cancelled.

TD leaders led by former MLA Sugunamma caught hold of some “bogus voters” at station 228 in the Sanjay Gandhi Colony. “When we asked some women arriving to cast their vote about their education qualification, they said they studied only upto the 6th or 10th class. When warned against bogus votes, they slipped away from the polling stations,” the ex-MLA said.

Opposition parties protested in front of station 229 at Chinna Bazar Street, alleging that the YSRC leaders organised bogus voting by turning off the cameras after assaulting the polling officer. Elsewhere, there was friction outside the polling station in Kummaritopu as TD and YSRC activists entered into a heated argument and rival groups pelted stones at each other.

Violence was reported also at station 233 in Satyanarayana Puram. The police arrested TD leader Kandra Lakshmipathy. His supporters alleged that the arrest was made when he was questioning the YSRC leaders casting fraudulent votes. TD leader Puligoru Murali was arrested at station 223. The TD leaders said Murali was detained after he questioned ineligible persons arriving to cast vote.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story