Khammam: Polling in five municipalities in erstwhile Khammam passed off peacefully barring minor incidents on Wednesday. Good voter turnout was witnessed in Wyra, Sathupalli and Madhira municipalities whose overall percentage of polling was 83.47. According to officials by 5 pm Sathupalli recorded 81.10 percent polling, Madhira 82.56 and Wyra 86.46 per cent polling.
The voters started arriving as soon as polling commenced and by 1 pm above 50 per cent polling was recorded in the three municipalities. By 3 pm the polling percentage crossed 70 per cent indicating the enthusiasm of the voters.
At Sathupalli, an altercation took place between followers of TRS and Congress candidates. Congress candidate P Sambaiah and party workers alleged that in ward number 14 a former councillor V Gopi distributed money to the voters. In Bhadradri Kothgudem the overall polling percentage was 75.1. Officials said by 5 pm 76.47 per cent polling was recorded in Kothagudem municipality while in Yellandu 73.73 per cent polling took place by 5 pm.
Though the polling in Kothagudem was peaceful mild tension prevailed in Yellandu. CPI(ML) ND and TRS rebel candidates accused the local MLA’s followers of distributing money to the voters. CPI(ML) ND leaders expressed anger at the police and accused them of dragging away party leader Madhu while he was speaking to the media. They alleged that some candidates distributed money and entered the polling station at Jagadamba centre.
The police had to use mild force to disperse crowds to bring the situation under control. Meanwhile, TRS senior leader N Naresh Reddy expressed confidence that the party would win elections in all the five municipalities in erstwhile Khammam. He dismissed the opposition parties’ allegations of misuse of power levelled against the TRS.
Speaking to the media at Wyra, he cautioned that rebel candidates who had entered the fray would have to face action. They were likely to be suspended based on the report submitted by observers and local MLAs, he added.
Khammam Collector RV Karnan who monitored the poll process through live webcasting from the district headquarters stated that the polling in three municipalities in the district was peaceful. The election observer and ITDA PO V P Gowtham, Commissioner of Police Tafseer Iqbal, Additional DCP D Muralidhar and Kothagudem SP Sunil Dutt inspected various polling stations.