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Amid post-poll violence in Andhra, EC summons Chief Secy, DGP over ‘failure’, ‘steps taken’

Following reports of incidents of violence on Monday polling day and later, the Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday summoned Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary K S Jawahar Reddy and Director General of Police Harish Kumar Gupta to Delhi.

According to EC sources, the officials have been summoned to seek an explanation on why post-poll violence “could not be curbed” by the administrative machinery and for information regarding the pre-emptive steps taken to prevent such incidents. “Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar is personally monitoring the situation,” the sources added.

The opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) have accused each other of attacking their cadres outside polling booths. The TDP contested the simultaneous elections to the Assembly and Lok Sabha in Andhra in alliance with the BJP and JanaSena Party.

On Monday, TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu alleged that 15 polling agents of his party had been kidnapped by YSRCP men in Chittoor, Palnadu and Guntur districts. While 12 of them reportedly “found their way back”, Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Mukesh Kumar Meena said three others were “traced” and “rescued”. According to Meena, the agents were kidnapped from Sadun mandal in Chittoor district, which falls under the Punganur Assembly segment.

YSRCP general secretary Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, however, accused the TDP of instigating violence and disrupting the polling process. “The fear of losing the election is forcing TDP leaders and cadres to instigate violence,” he said.

An official from DGP Gupta’s office said he was busy in meetings and could not respond. Jawahar Reddy’s office said the Chief Secretary did not want to comment. Incidentally, Gupta had

Read more on indianexpress.com