Written byShalini Ojha
Andhra Pradesh is witnessing a high-octane electoral battle. Assembly elections and Lok Sabha polls are being held simultaneously in the coastal state on Thursday.
TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu is hoping he gets another term as Chief Minister whereas his opponent Jagan Reddy of YSR Congress is certain people would "vote for change".
While we will know the results on May 23, polling in Andhra was controversial.
Here's what happened.
Andhra has 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly seats. Though there is a direct battle between Naidu and Reddy, actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan may have an important role after elections are declared.
Kalyan's party Jana Sena has also fielded candidates. If both TDP and YSRC fail to get a majority, Kalyan may play the role of a "kingmaker".
After polling began in Andhra, concerning reports pertaining to the behavior of a Jana Sena's candidate emerged.
Madhusudan Gupta, who went to a booth in Gutti to get inked, picked up the EVM and smashed it on the floor. He was reportedly upset with polling staff as names of assembly and parliamentary constituencies were not displayed properly.
The unruly candidate was arrested.
#WATCH Jana Sena MLA candidate Madhusudhan Gupta smashes an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at a polling booth in Gooty, in Anantapur district. He has been arrested by police. #AndhraPradesh pic.twitter.com/VoAFNdA6Jo— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
Meanwhile, Naidu alleged that 30% EVMs in the state weren't working. He claimed this put off voters and they returned without casting their votes.
Naidu wrote a letter to EC to inform about the same and suggested that re-polling should be done in booths where voting didn't start till 9:30 AM.
While election officials accepted there were glitches, they claimed the problem was fixed.
#NewsAlert -- @JanaSenaParty chief @PawanKalyan alleges that 10% of the EVMs are not working in the state, urges the Election Commission (@ECISVEEP) to take note of it. #BattleOf2019 #ElectionsWithNews18 #LokSabhaElections2019 pic.twitter.com/QVI5s1YkdU— News18 (@CNNnews18) April 11, 2019
Unfortunately, elections in Andhra turned violent after workers of YSRC and TDP clashed. TDP worker Chinta Bhaskar Reddy and YSRC man Pulla Reddy died after both parties got involved in a scuffle.
Reacting on the incident, Naidu said YSRC was taking the route of violence as they were scared of losing elections.
Clashes were also reported from Kadapa district and Atmakur assembly constituency.
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