Andhra Pradesh records over 80% voter turnout amidst clashes; Nara Lokesh protests

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First Published 12, Apr 2019, 9:13 AM IST
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Andhra Pradesh records over 80% voter turnout amidst clashes; Nara Lokesh protests
Highlights

Although clashes broke out in various parts of Andhra Pradesh in the first phase of polling on Thursday, the state recorded over 80% voter turnout. Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh sat in protest alleging poor poll preparedness

Guntur: Polling in Andhra Pradesh was marred by violence, as multiple clashes broke out across the state between the workers of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).

Despite incidents of violence being reported from various locations, the voter turnout in the state was recorded above 80%. Polling was held on Thursday for 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh.

Late at night, TDP MLA candidate and son of state chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Nara Lokesh sat on a protest in Tadepalli area of Guntur district alleging poor poll preparedness.

Demanding an apology from the Election Commission, he also alleged that the opposition party was conspiring in the state to stop voters from exercising their franchise.

The situation later turned volatile after a large number of YSRCP cadre also gathered at the spot and the two sides resorted to sloganeering against each other.

District SP Vijayawada Rao also reached the spot and urged both parties to show restraint. Police also resorted to lathi charge to control the crowd.

In another incident in Unguturu, West Godavari district, heated arguments between the TDP and YSRCP followers led to a tense situation.

Similarly in Narendrapuram village of Srikakulamd district another scuffle broke out between the workers of the two parties.

In Allagadda constituency of Kurnool district, the polling process was halted after clashes erupted between the workers of the two political parties.

In another incident in Chittoor district, MS Babu, the YSRCP candidate from Puthalapattu Assembly constituency, and his son were manhandled outside a polling booth.

TDP leader S Bhaskar Reddy was killed during clashes in Tadipatri town. TDP leaders have accused the YSRCP workers of killing Reddy.

During the day, TDP president Naidu had also written a letter to Andhra Pradesh director general of police (DGP) RP Thakur, stating that the polling agents of YSRCP were resorting to violence and obstructing the polling process.

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