If election officials dreamed of watching Andhra Pradesh’s elections unfold without incident, their hopes shattered like the voting machine Madhusudhan Gupta threw on the ground.
Gupta, a candidate from the Jana Sena Party, said names of assembly and Lok Sabha seats weren’t displayed properly in a polling chamber in Guntakal. He was being filmed when he picked up the EVM and deposited it dramatically at his feet (see video below) — in fact, he faced the camera as he spoke.
He was arrested.
Nagarjun Dwarakanath (@nagarjund) April 11, 2019
There was violence elsewhere in Andhra Pradesh, this time featuring Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the YSRCP of Jaganmohan Reddy, his arch-rival.
Clashes broke out in several places. In Eluru, a YSRCP mandal parishad member was badly hurt when he was allegedly attacked by TDP workers. In Jammalamadugu, workers from both parties threw stones.
The violence on polling day cost one man his life.
In Tadipatri, local TDP leader Chintha Bhaskar Reddy died of injuries he suffered during clashes between his party and the YSRCP.
But the fighting wasn’t the only thing that marred Andhra Pradesh’s twin state and parliamentary elections.
There were also reports of EVM failure. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu wrote to the Election Commission to ask for repolling in booths that faced technical glitches.
Today marks the first of seven phases in India’s seventeenth general election, the largest democratic exercise on earth, in which 900 million people are eligible to vote.
The last phase is on May 19. Votes polled in both the Lok Sabha election and four state elections will be counted on May 23.
Inputs from agencies
Check out IndiaToday.in’s comprehensive guide to the Lok Sabha election schedule. Scroll down to track your MP’s performance.