Visakhapatnam: With reports of polling delayed inordinately due to non-functioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) all over Andhra Pradesh, the opposition YSR Congress Party suspects the hand of the ruling Telugu Desam Party in the issue.
Long queues were seen even after the polling time was over at several booths in the State. In Mangalagiri, the YSRCP candidate Ramakrishna Reddy alleged that EVMs were reported not working where the minorities and SCs were in large number. Of the total 800 voters in a polling booth, 600 voters, mostly minorities and Scheduled Castes were seen waiting for over six hours at 6 p.m., when the deadline for polling was over. It was said that out of 3 EVMs, only one was functioning. Chief Minister’s son and IT minister Nara Lokesh is the TDP candidate here.
Though arrangements were made to issue voting slips to ensure all the voters exercised their franchise, most of them were upset as they had to forgo food and water and wait in the queue.
In Jakkampudi of Krishna district, YSRCP leaders alleged that the TDP leaders were stalling the polling of votes by squatting in the polling booths. The queue lines did not move an inch for six hours even after the deadline was over at 6 p.m. and when the voters tried to complain the police, the latter were found laughing it away, they alleged.
YSRCP circles alleged that it was part of Chandrababu Naidu’s conspiracy, controlling the polling personnel and police who were mostly State government employees. Their views were strengthened by a fake tweet allegedly by the TDP in the name of Prashant Kishor in the wee hours which said “All hard work our team has been doing for past 2 years is now going in vain. Since YS Jagan is not sure of magic figure, he has turned his back and bringing in all the commercials. Working with Jagan Reddy’s party will be regret for a lifetime.”
Later in the afternoon, Prashant Kishor who came to know of the incident, denied in no uncertain terms saying “@ncbn when you lose trust of the people and your faith in their wisdom, after abuses and lies, you stoop down to circulating fake news. Few hours left for this polling to close bt it’s clear that people of AP have decided their verdict It is time to say#ByeByeBabu.”
With hundreds of polling booths failing to begin polling for at least an hour , YSRCP leaders have demanded repolling wherever the EVMs did not function for over four hours so that the voters could peacefully exercise their franchise with proper security and availability of proper-functioning EVMs.