Voter demands money, gets beaten, so village boycotts polls (Sidebar)

Hyderabad, April 23 (Inditop) A village in coastal Andhra Pradesh Thursday boycotted polling. No, it was not to protest the lack of roads, water or other amenities. The villagers were angry that one of them demanded money from a party, got beaten up and returned empty handed!

It all began in Kuvada Annavaram village of West Godavari district when some leaders of the Congress party allegedly distributed money among voters, but only a few benefited. To complain about this, a man called Narasimha Raju went to the party office but was allegedly beaten up and sent back.

Angry over this, the villagers stayed away from the polling process. The village head, local police and election officials tried to convince them but in vain. The village has about 1,000 voters.

The state, where the second and final phase of polling for 20 Lok Sabha and 150 assembly seats was held Thursday, is notorious for the distribution of money and liquor among voters by political parties.

During the last two weeks, the state police have seized Rs.350 million in cash and liquor worth over Rs.60 million during searches across the state.