Andhra Pradesh Witnesses High Voter Turnout Amid Clashes in Assembly Elections

Andhra Pradesh witnessed a 68.04% voter turnout in simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections, with incidents of violence reported in several districts. Prominent politicians, including the Governor and Chief Minister, cast their votes amidst clashes between ruling and opposition party supporters.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Andhra Pradesh Witnesses High Voter Turnout Amid Clashes in Assembly Elections

Andhra Pradesh Witnesses High Voter Turnout Amid Clashes in Assembly Elections

On May 13, 2024, Andhra Pradesh witnessed a significant voter turnout of 68.04% by 5 pm in the simultaneous elections for 175 assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats. The final figure is expected to touch 80%, according to Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena. However, the polling process was marred by incidents of violence in parts of Palnadu, Annamayya, and other districts.

Why this matters: The outcome of these elections will have significant implications for the future political landscape of Andhra Pradesh and the keyissues facing the state, such as the Polavaram irrigation project, development of a new capital city, and jobs and employment opportunities. The high voter turnout and incidents of violence also reflect the intense political rivalry and public engagement in the state.

Prominent politicians, including Governor Justice S Abdul Nazeer, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, and Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan, cast their votes in their respective constituencies. YSRC president and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was accompanied by his wife YS Bharati, while TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu was joined by his wife Nara Bhuvaneswari, son and party general secretary Nara Lokesh, and daughter-in-law Brahmani.

The elections were marked by clashes between supporters of the ruling YSRC and opposition TDP, resulting in injuries, damaged cars, and destroyed EVMs in several booths. Incidents of violence were reported in Palnadu, Narasaraopet, Thummarakota, Jettipalem, Rentala, Macherla, Sattenapalli, Muppalla, Thondepi, Madala, Dammalapadu, Mokkapadu, and Acchampeta. TDP leaders were attacked and injured in Rentala, allegedly by YSRC men, even before polling began. A molotov cocktail was hurled at a thatched hut in Tangedu village, triggering panic.

In a statement, CEO Mukesh Kumar Meena said, "The polling percentage is likely to cross the previous mark of 79%." He added that re-polling has not been necessitated anywhere and action would be taken against those involved in the incident of abducted polling agents.

Other incidents of violence included local MLA A Shiva Kumar slapping a voter in Tenali, leading to mild tension at the booth. In the same area, YSRC supporters and followers of BJP candidate C Adinarayana Reddy attacked each other with stones. YSRC General Secretary Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy claimed that the people of the state voted in favor of the YSRC and accused the TDP of resorting to violence due to fear of loss.

The 2024 Vidhan Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh are crucial, with the YSRCP government facing anti-incumbency and criticism on various fronts. In 2019, the YSRCP swept to power, winning 151 Assembly and 22 of 25 Lok Sabha seats. However, the party is now facing a tough challenge from the TDP, BJP, and JanaSena Party (JSP) alliance. Five major issues are likely to decide the fate of the Jagan Mohan Reddy government: the delay in the Polavaram irrigation project, lack of development of a new capital city, attacks on temples, the controversial AP Land Titling Act, and lack of jobs and employment opportunities.

Despite the incidents of violence, the high voter turnout in Andhra Pradesh may reflect the enthusiasm and determination of the electorate to participate in the democratic process. Women and the elderly, especially in rural areas, were seen actively casting their votes. As the state awaits the election results on June 4, 2024, the outcome will have significant implications for the future political landscape of Andhra Pradesh and the key issues facing the state.

Key Takeaways

  • Andhra Pradesh sees 68.04% voter turnout in simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
  • Violence mars polling process in parts of Palnadu, Annamayya, and other districts.
  • Prominent politicians, including Governor and Chief Minister, cast their votes.
  • Elections crucial for Andhra Pradesh's future, with 5 key issues deciding Jagan Mohan Reddy government's fate.
  • High voter turnout reflects enthusiasm and determination of electorate to participate in democratic process.