YSCRP MLA Throws VVPAT To Ground At Andhra Polling Booth; EC Directs Police To Take Strict Action | Caught On Cam

“As reported by the police, the name of the MLA (P Ramakrishna Reddy) has been included as accused during the investigation,” read the statement from CEO Meena.

The YSRCP MLA was seen hurling the EVM to the ground. Photo: X

In a shocking turn of events, a YSR Congress Party MLA in Andhra Pradesh was allegedly seen picking up a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) at a polling booth and throwing it to the ground on during voting in the state. A CCTV footage of the incident has gone viral on social media.

The Election Commission 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.

Reddy is the sitting MLA from the Macherla constituency and has won from the seat at least thrice. Macherla comes under the Palnadu district, which has seen been the worst hit by poll-related violence.

The Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) accused YSRCP of fearing defeat. "People are not voting for them, there is no sign of Jagan (Mohan Reddy)," TDP said.

The CCTV footage of the said incident shows MLA Reddy walking towards the EVM at the Palwai Gate polling station, picking it up and hurling it to the ground aggressively couple of times.

The EVM is seen falling apart from the damage caused to it, with some of its pieces seen scattered on the ground.

Soon as this happens, someone is seen running towards Reddy, charging at one of the MLA's aides and slapping him. He also tries to get to the YSCRP MLA but gets held back by others present in the room.

Then, Reddy seems to be warning the man before walking out of the polling centre calmly. Following this chaos, a polling official is seen taking a video of the damaged VVPAT lying on the ground.

The incident, took place on May 13, during the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections. All 25 of the Lok Sabha constituencies and 175 Assembly seats went to polls in Andhra Pradesh.

Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena's office issued a statement on the incident and said, "In Macherla Assembly Constituency, EVMs were damaged in seven polling stations including the PS no (polling station number) 202 where this incident of damage of EVM by the sitting MLA P Ramakrishna Reddy was recorded in the web camera."

Looking at the gravity of the matter, the poll-governing body directed the CEO to inform DGP Harish Kumar Gupta to take strict criminal action against all the persons involved.

“As reported by the police, the name of the MLA (P Ramakrishna Reddy) has been included as accused during the investigation,” it said.

Further, the Election Commission called on the police to take stringent action against all the persons involved in the EVM damaging cases to set an example so that "nobody in the future dares to take any such action to interfere into the peaceful conduct of polls".

Meanwhile TDP leader and Chandrababu Naidu's son Nara Lokesh took to X and said, "YS Jagan Mohan Reddy killed his own father, the people who voted him and finally the democracy itself. YCP MLA Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy vandalized the EVM at the Palwai Gate polling center of Macharla Constituency."

"I demand that the Election Commission take strict action against Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy, who has vandalized EVMs and attacked them due to the fear of defeat. People are going to give real verdict on YCP factional politics on June 4," he added.

Against Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSRCP, the TDP is contesting the Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the BJP and Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena Party.

Notably, on the same day, in another incident of misbehavior, a YSRCP MLA slapped a voter at a polling booth in Guntur after he allegedly objected to the legislator jumping the queue there. A video of the incident had also gone viral.

YSCRP MLA, A Sivakumar, was seen slapping the voter on the face, who then retaliated and returned the slap.

(With PTI inputs)