One person was killed and 20 were injured as stray incidents of violence marred the second-phase of polling in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday. The second-phase recorded 67.49 per cent polling,held in the four districts of Rayalaseema and six south coastal districts covering 20 Lok Sabha constituencies and 140 Assembly seats.
Groups of Congress and TDP workers clashed in Guntur,Prakasam and Kadapa districts. A Congress worker was killed and nine others were injured,as they clashed with the supporters of the local TDP candidate in Periyapalem.
The Election Commission has ordered repolling in 36 polling stations.
The second-phase proved to be a tough triangular contest between the Congress,TDP and PRP. Workers and polling agents of these parties clashed at various places in the three districts. Political observers say the heavy voter turnout may mean that the caste factor played a role in this phase. While Reddys and Kammas stuck to the Congress and TDP,respectively,a sizeable chunk of the Kapu,OBC,SC votes may have gone to the PRP.
Following clashes between the Congress and TDP workers in Guntur district,the police put M Venkataramana Rao,state Minister for Ports and Airports and Congress candidate from Raipalle Assembly constituency,and A Satya Prasad of the TDP under house arrest on the ECs directions.
In Kadapa,Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddys home district,police fired in the air to disperse clashing groups of the Congress and TDP in at least half-a-dozen places. The police fired in the air in Naagasanipalle village and Chinnagulagannur village in Mydukur Assembly constituency,after factionists lobbed country-made bombs at one another. The police fired in the air to disperse mobs at Kuchurpapaypalli in Chapadu Mandal,and also lathicharged the crowd.
In Tirupati,where Chiranjeevi is contesting,Congress workers heckled and booed the filmstar-turned-politician. The police rushed in additional forces,led by an Inspector General of Police,to arrange more security for the PRP chief. Tension prevailed near a polling booth when the Congress and TDP workers tried to prevent Chiranjeevi from visiting it.
In Pulivendala,Y S Rajasekhara Reddy cast his vote at noon along with his son Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy,who is contesting from Kadapa.
The states chief electoral officer I V Subba Rao told reporters that re-polling will be held on Saturday in 36 polling booths where EVMs were damaged during clashes.
There were 254 candidates for the Lok Sabha and 1,822 candidates for the Assembly polls. Narasapuram Lok Sabha constituency recorded highest turnout at 76.80 per cent,while Anantapur recorded the lowest at 60 per cent.