Repoll at Penugodu as ballot box falls into water body
Amid the poll boycott call by the main opposition Telugu Desam Party, elections to the Mandal and Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies were held in a peaceful manner in south coastal Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.
About 51% of the voters exercised their franchise in the polls held in Nellore and Prakasam districts, in strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols in the wake of spurt in cases in the region.
In Nellore district, 51.87% of 13.38 lakh voters exercised their franchise. The polling percentage in Prakasam district was put at 50.88%, the officials said.
Braving the scorching heat, people, wearing face masks and maintaining social distance, waited in queues at polling stations as the health workers scanned their body temperature with thermal scanners. The voters were also provided with hand sanitiser to clean their hands before they were allowed to the booths.
“We took all precautions, including sanitising of polling booths and supply of face masks and sanitisers in view of the spurt in COVID cases. The polling remained peaceful,” said Nellore Collector K.V.N. Chakradhar Babu, after overseeing the elections to 34 ZPTC and 366 MPTC seats through webcasting.
A repoll has been ordered at Penugodu in A.S. Peta mandal as the ballot box was submerged in a water body after a clash between the YSRCP and the BJP activists.
Meanwhile, Nellore district CPI secretary Ch. Prabakar demanded a re-poll at Nelaballi-Retapalli village, alleging that the party symbol was wrongly printed on the ballot paper.
Police made elaborate bandobust as the personnel ensured a strict surveillance through drones cameras, body-worn cameras and CCTVs. No untoward incident was reported from 2,194 polling stations, including 223 hyper-sensitive and 351 sensitive booths, set up for elections to 41 ZPTC and 367 MPTC seats in Prakasam district.
Guntur Range Deputy Inspector General C.M. Trivikrama Varma and Prakasam Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal oversaw the polling at many booths. Para-police volunteers helped out the elderly and differently-abled voters.
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