Rival party supporters clash over ‘cash distribution’

Except for stray incidents of heated arguments between supporters of rival parties in Sattupalli and protest by CPI (ML-ND) cadres against alleged attempts by the supporters of a contestant to distribute cash to voters in Yellandu, polling in five municipalities in the old undivided Khammam district passed off peacefully on Wednesday.

In Khammam district, Wyra municipality recorded the highest turnout of 86.46% followed by Madhira at 82.55% and Sattupalli at 81.10%. Kothagudem and Yellandu municipalities in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district clocked an impressive turnout of 76.47% and 73.75% respectively.

Of the total electorate of 59,641 in Kothagudem municipality, as many as 45,605 voters exercised their franchise.

Tension broke out in Yellandu late in the afternoon after some cadres of the CPI (ML-ND) tried to stage a sit-in on the Government Hospital road condemning alleged attempts by a group of ruling party supporters to distribute money to voters near a polling station in the ninth ward. Chaos prevailed for sometime as a large number of police personnel rounded up the agitated cadres who raised slogans against alleged unfair practices in elections.

Police forcibly bundled them into a vehicle and drove them to the local police station, sources said.

Commotion prevailed in Sattupalli when a group of local Congress workers tried to chase two persons carrying cash on the main road leading to a polling station in the afternoon. The agitated Congress cadres accused the duo of trying to influence voters at the behest of some ruling TRS functionaries. They handed over the duo to the police on bandobust duty.

Tense situation prevailed in R&R Colony in the coal town of Yellandu late on Tuesday night when a wordy duel broke out between the supporters of the TRS rebel candidate Madata Venkat Goud and a group of supporters of the ruling party with both accusing each other of resorting to unfair practices to woo the voters.

Later, talking to the media, Mr. Goud alleged that elections were held amid “intimidation” of Independent candidates in the fray in 18 wards of the Yellandu municipality.

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