A day after the Election Commission declared repolling in five polling booths of the Chandragiri Assembly constituency in Andhra, tension erupted in NR Kammapalli village of Ramachandrapuram Mandal on Thursday between the YSRCP and TDP candidates. It has been reported that the villagers tried to stop the YSRCP candidate Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy’s son Mohit Reddy from entering the village, with some women allegedly attacking him with broomsticks. The villagers were reportedly angry with Bhaskar Reddy for demanding the repoll.
Chandragiri CI denied that Reddy was physically attacked, but confirmed that tensions had surfaced in the village, and the police reached the location to prevent any violence.
“It’s true that some villagers of the Kamma community tried to stop Mohit Reddy in protest of the EC’s decision to conduct repolling. But noone was physically attacked. Both the YSRCP and TDP candidates had been sitting down along with their supporters when we reached”, the CI said. He added that both the candidates, YSRCP’s Bhaskar Reddy and TDP’s Pulivarthi Nani, were taken to the police station on Thursday night and detained temporarily as a preventive measure.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is likely to stage a protest in Delhi later on Friday over the EC’s decision to hold the re-poll in the five booths belonging to the Chittoor Lok Sabha constituency. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President will meet Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora to submit a memorandum to lodge his protest over the poll body's decision to conduct re-polling in these booths.
Naidu alleged that the EC once again showed its bias by ignoring the TDP demand for re-poll while accepting a similar demand by YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) more than a month after the polling. TDP sources said after submitting the memorandum, Naidu may stage a sit-in in the national capital to protest the EC's decision.
Re-polling in these five booths for both Chandragiri Assembly seat and Chittoor (Scheduled Caste) Lok Sabha seat will be held on May 19.
The decision followed after a complaint by outgoing MLA from Chandragiri and YSRCP candidate Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy that voters of one particular community were not allowed to cast their votes on April 11. The Hindu had reported in January that voters from SC/ST communities in different villages in Chandragiri constituency, including NR Kammapalli, were being denied from exercising their franchise.
Polling to 175-member Assembly and all 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state were held in a single phase on April 11. Re-polling was also held on May 6 in five polling booths spread over three districts.