Polling continued till midnight in few places in Andhra Pradesh

Voting in few places in Andhra Pradesh continued till midnight in simultaneous polls to the state Assembly and Lok Sabha while the final voter turnout figure is likely to cross 80 per cent.

According to the Election Commission, 78.36 per cent voters cast their votes but this figure may go up further and surpass the 2019 turnout of 79.64 per cent.

In places like Chintala colony in Tiruvuru (SC) Assembly segment in NTR district, Gotivada Agraharam in Madugula mandal of Anakapalli district, and in Bheemunipatnam in Padmanbham mandal of Visakhapatnam district, polling continued till midnight.

Enthusiasm among voters marked the polling in the southern state as thousands of people living in neighbouring states of Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country came to their native places to cast their votes. Some even came from abroad to participate in the polling process.

More than 4.14 crore voters were eligible to cast their votes in the elections for 175-member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in the single-phase polling.

Election authorities had set up 46,389 polling centres across the state. The voters decided the political fortunes of 2,841 candidates.

Chief Minister and YSR Congress Party President Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, Jana Sena leader and actor Pawan Kalyan are among 2,387 candidates for 175 Assembly seats.

For 25 Lok Sabha seats, 454 contestants are in the fray and prominent among them are former Union Minister and state BJP chief D. Purandeswari, state Congress President Y. S. Sharmila Reddy and former Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.

The polling, which began at 7 a.m. on Monday, concluded in the Left-Wing Extremist (LWE)-affected segments of Araku, Paderu and Rampachodavaram at 4 p.m. and in three other LWE-affected segments of Palakonda, Kurupam and Salur at 5 p.m.

When the polling came to an end at 6 p.m. in 169 Assembly segments, there were long queues at several polling stations. According to officials, 100 to 200 voters were waiting at about 3,500 polling stations.

While the process was completed in most of the polling booths by 10 p.m., it continued in a few centres till midnight. Similar scenes were witnessed at some places during the 2019 elections.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) M. K. Meena assured the voters standing in queues when the polling ended at 6 p.m. that no matter how long it takes, they will be allowed to cast their vote. “Anticipating such a situation, we had made necessary arrangements like lighting to continue the process,” he said.

The state had recorded a turnout of 68.04 per cent till 5 p.m. With the reports pouring in from different parts of the state, the Election Commission kept updating it.

On Tuesday morning, the polling figure was revised to 78.36 per cent for Assembly elections. Dharmavaram Assembly constituency recorded the highest turnout of 88.61 per cent while Paderu was the lowest at 55.45 per cent.

The voter turnout was 78.25 per cent for Lok Sabha polls. Amalapaluram constituency recorded the highest polling percentage of 83.19. The lowest was 68 per cent in Visakhapatnam.

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