Andhra Pradesh was witness to a number of clashes between YSRCP and TDP supporters on Thursday as the state went to polls for both Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, including the deaths of two TDP workers.
The unsavoury incidents started hours after voting began for the state's 25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 Assembly seats, for which 45920 polling booths were required.
In Guntakal, former MLA and contesting candidate of Jana Sena Party, Madhusudan Gupta, smashed an EVM machine in a fit of rage alleging that the party symbols were not properly printed on the ballot unit.
Things also took a violent turn in Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district, Ponnathota village as YSRC and TDP workers indulged in stone-throwing.
TDP worker Bhaskar Reddy and YSRCP worker Pulla Reddy have died in amid clashes between the party cadre at the polling station in Veerapuram village in Tadipatri Assembly constituency, Anantapur district. Two other party candidates are believed to be in critical condition.
In Narsaraopet constituency in Guntur district, YSRCP leaders alleged that TDP men ransacked a polling station in Yelamanda village and in the act, damaged furniture.
Police personnel were also preventing YSRCP sympathisers from entering into the polling booth, they alleged.
Minor trouble was also reported at a few other constituencies in Guntur, Prakasam and Anantapuramu districts as well.
State chief electoral officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi said that polling was being conducted peacefully, however. He added that the technical defects in EVMs have also been rectified.
Earlier, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also exercised his franchise along with his family at a polling station in Undavalli village in Amaravati. He also expressed his disappointment over the dysfunctional EVMs saying that those specific states should have a re-poll.
In Andhra Pradesh, it is essentially a three-cornered fight - the ruling TDP which is seeking re-election, Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress which is emerging as a strong contender, and actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena, the entrant. BJP and Congress are also contesting but without any alliance with any regional party.
Of the total 10.15 lakh are first-time voters in the 18-19 age group. As many as 2,118 and 319 candidates are in the fray for the 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats respectively.