A fire broke out at one of the counting centres in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati town on Monday night, triggering mild panic, the police said. The incident occurred in an engineering college on the premises of the Sri Venkateswara University (SVU) at the outskirts of the town. Officials had set up tables and made other arrangements for counting of votes on May 23.
A fire engine rushed to the scene and brought the fire under control. Short circuit is believed to have caused the fire.
As the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were stored in a strong room in nearby building, the incident sent panic among officials.
However, the officials said the fire did not spread to strong room and the EVMs were safe. District Collector P S Pradyumna and Superintendent of Police Vikrant Patil visited the counting centre.
On April 11, over 3 crore voters voted for 175 Assembly seats in the state, which is seeing a multi-cornered fight between ruling Telangana Desam Party led by Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP. Pawan Kalyan’s newly formed Jana Sena party, which tied up with Left parties is also in the fray along with Congress and the BJP. This is the first assembly elections in the residual state of AP post the state bifurcation in 2014 and a party will need to win 88 seats to form government, which is the magic number.
Votes were also polled for the 25 Lok Sabha seats inn Andhra Pradesh.
The YSRCP aims to storm into power and is pegging its hopes on the recent success of the Praja Sankalpa Yatra, a 3,648 km-long ‘padayatra’ or walkathon that Jagan Mohan Reddy undertook over the span of more than a year, covering all districts in the state. The TDP hopes to prove its critics wrong and has renominated several of its sitting MPs, in a bid to prove that there is little anti-incumbency in the state.
The state had witnessed a shake-up in poll alliances after the TDP pulled out of the NDA in 2018 after the Centre refused to grant special status to Andhra.
The votes are scheduled to be counted on May 23.
Article source: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/fire-breaks-out-counting-centre-andhra-evms-safe-102105