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Fearing heatwaves senior citizens vote in first hour in many booths

Senior citizens coming on wheelchairs to cast their vote during the general elections at Loyola College polling station in Vijayawada on Monday.

Fearing heatwaves and scorching sun, many voters thronged the polling stations one hour before the schedule 7 a.m. in NTR and Krishna districts on Monday. Though the election authorities announced that polling will only begin from 7 a.m., many electors, including senior citizens, reached the booths in advance.

Governor, S. Abdul Nazeer, along with his wife, Sameera Nazeer, exercised their franchise in the green polling station in Vijayawada.

In the polling stations, located at Yenamalakuduru, Ashok Nagar, Poranki and others, located in Penamaluru Assembly constituency, long queues were witnessed since 6 a.m. “We came to the polling booth much in advance and the polling process completed in 15 minutes. To escape from heat, me and my wife decided to vote before 9 a.m,” said Kumara Swamy, an octogenarian.

Similar situation was seen in the polling stations in Andhra Loyola College in Vijayawada East Assembly segment, Vijayawada Central and other constituencies. “Expecting heatwaves, we came to the polling station by 6.30 a.m. However, due to technical snag in the electronic voting machine (EVM), I voted at 8.30 a.m,” Rajashekar, said a senior citizen.

Heavy voter turnout was witnessed in Mylavaram, Jaggaiahpet, Tiruvuru and Nandigama Assembly segments also. Septuagenarians and octogenarians were seen accompanied by their children and grandchildren to the polling stations.

Voters were in queues after 6 p.m. in some polling stations, and they would be allowed to vote, the officials said adding that 73.39 percent voting was recorded in seven Assembly constituencies in NTR District.

Tiruvuru registered the highest voting percentage of 79.28%, Jaggaiahpet 78.20%, Mylavaram 78%, Nandigama 72.27%, Vijayawada East 69.11%, Vijayawada West 68.30% and Vijayawada Central 68.15% polling was recorded, the NTR District officials said.

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