Braving the scorching heat, voters of Seemandhra turned out in large numbers to exercise the franchise for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections today even as sporadic violence and clashes between YSR Congress and TDP-BJP workers were reported from some areas especially Kadapa.
The state's Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwar Lal said the overall polling percentage in 13 districts of Seemandhra where elections were held for 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly constituencies was an impressive 77-78 per cent, as per the tentative figures, with Guntur recording the highest 83 per cent and Visakhapatnam the lowest at 73 per cent.
The final polling percentage is expected to touch 80 per cent when all the reports are compiled, he said. In 2009, Seemandhra had recorded 76 per cent turn-out.
Clashes between TDP and YSRCP workers, and some violence by Maoists were reported during the day. The Maoists torched an Electronic Voting Machine and a vehicle at Palakagidi agency area (on Andhra-Odisha border) of Visakhapatnam district, forcing authorities to order repolling in one of the polling stations.
Several workers of YSR Congress and TDP were injured in clashes in Kadapa district. Police fired in the air in Guntur and Kadapa districts to disperse the workers.
About Rs eight crore in unaccounted-for cash was seized during the day, which took the total cash seized so far to Rs 152 crore since the model code of conduct came into force across Andhra Pradesh.
Having been out of power for a decade, today's elections were a do-or-die battle for TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu, who has forged an electoral alliance with BJP. His main rival is YSR Congress chief Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Today's elections, the last general election to be held in the undivided Andhra Pradesh, were conducted amid a heavy security.
Elections in Telangana, which is to become the 29th state of the country, were held on April 30.
"In East Godavari district, one person died due to cardiac arrest and not in the clashes; another voter died near a polling station due to sun stroke and heavy consumption of liquor at Niziveedu in Krishna district," Bhanwar Lal said.
Most incidents of violence were reported from the districts of Kadapa, Chittoor and Guntur.
Police fired in the air to disperse a group of YSR Congress workers who allegedly tried to drive out rival party's polling agent from Ramireddypalem booth in Guntur district, police said.