[Watch] Andhra MLA Smashes VVPAT Machine On Ground At Polling Booth

New Delhi: An MLA from the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in Andhra Pradesh recently picked up a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine at a polling booth and smashed it to the ground during voting in the state.

In the CCTV footage of the incident being shared widely on social media, YSRCP leader Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy, the sitting MLA from the Macherla constituency who has won from there at least thrice, can be seen walking into the Palwai Gate polling centre, where an election official gets up to greet him. Without saying a word, the MLA walks into the enclosed area where the EVM is kept, picks up the VVPAT and throws it with a lot of force on the ground.

A component of the machine comes off even as someone in the polling booth charges one of his aides and slaps him hard before heading to Reddy and then gets held back. The MLA nonchalantly kicks what appears to be the control unit. He then seems to be warning the attacker before walking out, Financial Express reported.

The incident took place on May 13, when all 25 of Andhra Pradesh’s Lok Sabha constituencies and all 175 Assembly seats went to the polls. Violence was reported on the day of the election in many areas and sporadic incidents have taken place after that as well.

The Election Commission (EC) noted that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were damaged in seven polling stations on May 13 in the Macherla Assembly constituency, including the one where YSRCP MLA, P Ramakrishna Reddy, allegedly damaged an EVM. In a statement, the EC said Reddy was recorded on camera vandalising EVMs in seven polling centres, “along with PS number 202”, in the Macherla Assembly constituency.

“Palnadu district election officials have handed over video footage of all such polling stations to the police to assist in the investigation of the case related to the vandalism incident. The EC is taking this matter very seriously and has directed Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena to inform the director general of police to take strict action against all those involved in these incidents,” the statement said, PTI reported.

Stating that the police have named the MLA as an accused, it said, “The EC hopes that no one will dare to commit such misdeeds in the future.”

Meanwhile, the opposition Telugu Desam Party has claimed that the legislator and the YSRCP are indulging in such vandalism because they are fearing defeat.

Taking to X, TDP leader and party chief Chandrababu Naidu’s son, Nara Lokesh, wrote in Telugu, “YSRCP MLA Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy vandalised the EVM at the Palwai Gate polling centre of Macharla Constituency. I demand that the Election Commission take strict action against Mr Reddy, who has vandalised EVMs and attacked them because of a fear of defeat. People are going to give the real verdict on YSRCP’s factional politics on June 4.”

Macherla comes under the Palnadu district, which has been the worst hit by violence on the day of the polling and after that.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.