Polling was going on in over 300 booths late into Thursday night in different districts of Andhra Pradesh as faulty EVMs hampered voting in the day. Though the scheduled polling time ended at 6 pm, voters in the queue waiting outside the booths were being allowed to exercise their franchise.
“Even if it is midnight, those in the queue by 6 pm can cast their votes,” state Chief Electoral Officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi said.
Till 6 pm, over 74 per cent voting was recorded for 175 assembly and 25 LoK Sabha seats in the state.
In more than 380 booths, technical glitches in EVMs hampered polling during the days. As a result scores of voters returned home after a long wait.
After the authorities rectified the defects and replaced some of the faulty EVMs, the poll process resumed.
The voters who reached respective polling stations before the scheduled close were being allowed to fulfil their obligation.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh, who is contesting the Mangalagiri Assembly seat, staged a protest at a polling station in Tadepalli town late Thursday night alleging lack of provision of basic facilities for the voters.
“Voters are made to wait in queue for hours because the EVMs and VVPATs did not function. Not even drinking water was available for them,” Lokesh said.
The minister was, however, jeered by opposition YSR Congress workers. They raised slogans asking Lokesh to “go back” and not disturb the poll process.
Tension prevailed at the polling station as TDP workers tried to hit back.
Guntur Urban SP Vijaya Rao reached the spot and asked Lokesh to leave. The TDP leader, however, remained adamant and picked up an argument with the officials.
“I am a minister, remember. I have every right to be here,” he said. However, the police managed to disperse the two sides soon.