Chandrababu Naidu claimed irregularities in the conduct of elections in Andhra Pradesh. He said that EVMs at as many as 157 polling centres were not functioning properly and sought re-election on these seats.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has written to the Election Commission alleging irregularities in the conduct of elections in the state. In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Naidu has complained that Electronic Voting Machines at as many as 157 polling centres in the state were not functioning properly as of 9.30 am this morning. Naidu sought re-election on these seats claiming that voters who returned from these booths due to the dysfunctional EVMs did not come back to vote when the machines were set right.
“It is likely that many voters who returned may not come back for voting even if polling is resumed after replacement/repair of existing EVMs. Therefore repolling needed in all polling stations where polling had not commenced upto 9.30 am,” Naidu said in his letter to CEC Sunil Arora.
N Chandrababu Naidu in letter to CEC: Likely that many voters who returned may not come back for voting even if polling is resumed after replacement / repair of existing EVMs.Therefore repolling needed in all polling stations where polling had not commenced upto 9.30am (file pic) pic.twitter.com/tfEmyIQ8YE
— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
Polling is underway simultaneously for 25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh. News reports claimed there has been a delay in voting at some centres due to EVMs not functioning properly. Speaking to reporters, Andhra Pradesh CEO Gopal Dwivedi said that complaints of EVMs not functioning were received from 50 places in the state, following which technical teams reached the spot and voting resumed after the issues were resolved. Seeking to downplay the complaints, Dwivedi stated that polling was underway peacefully and predicted a higher voting percentage than the previous elections.
However, incidents of violence in the state marred the otherwise peaceful conduct of elections since this morning. According to reports, a Telugu Desam Party worker was hacked to death at Veerapuram in Tadipatri constituency of Anantapur district in the state. Clashes were also reported at some places between workers of the TDP and the YSR Congress. Clashes broke out between YSRCP and TDP workers in Puthalapattu constituency in Bandarlapalli district of the state. Police resorted to lathi-charge to control the situation, news agency ANI reported.
— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
A leader of the Jana Sena Madhusudan Gupta was also arrested in Gooty in Anantpur district for smashing an EVM on the floor. He was allegedly peeved with unclear display of candidates on the polling machines. Gupta is a former MLA and seeking election from Guntakal Assembly constituency on Jana Sena Party ticket.
Andhra Pradesh is primarily witnessing a three-cornered contest with Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu seeking re-election, Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party emerging as a strong contender and Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena being the new entrant.