Barring stray incidents, the by-elections in Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, which will determine the political future of former MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy, on Sunday passed off peacefully even as 248 anti-social elements were taken into preventive custody, a top police officer said.
Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police K Aravinda Rao said that police had to fire in the air at Siddagaripalli village under Pulivendula sub-division to disperse supporters of Congress and YSR Congress who clashed with each other and resorted to stone pelting about half a kilometre away from the polling station.
However, nobody was injured in the police firing and situation was brought under control effectively, he said.
YS Vijayalakshmi, wife of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and nominee of YSR Congress is contesting from Pulivendula assembly segment against her brother-in-law and Congress candidate YS Vivekananda Reddy.
In a separate incident, a clash was reported between two groups at K Sunkesula village of Kazipet mandal in which an OB van of Sakshi news channel, owned by YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, was damaged, police said.
"At both these places, polling process was not disturbed," the DGP said.
In view of the high-profile candidates and political sensitivity of the bypolls, elaborate security arrangements had been done with deployment over 11,000 security personnel, police said.
The process of escorting the polling personnel along with the EVMs to the counting centres was in progress, the DGP said. As many as 248 anti-social elements were taken into preventive custody and as a precautionary measure 320 vehicles were seized for illegal use during the elections today, he added.
Meanwhile, Kadapa District Superintendent of Police Tarun Joshi told PTI on phone that "Overall polling went off peacefully, though there were some incidents of stone pelting between workers of Congress and YSR Congress party, arguments between polling agents of different political parties but none of them affected the polling process."
Some minor incidents like arguments and quarreling between Congress and YSR Congress party workers occurred in the last two hours of the polling, however, the situation was immediately brought under control, the SP said.
Referring to a report that an MLA was kept under house arrest, he said, "As per the directions of Election Commission all the people with Personal Security Officers (PSOs) were supposed to stay in their houses except when they came out for voting.
"After that they are not supposed stay around (near the polling booths) and must move back to their houses. We were only implementing that order," he said.
The police had registered 167 cases of illegal manufacture, sale and distribution of liquor and a total of 188 persons were arrested in this connection since the election process started.
An official said that since the process for the bypolls began, the police have seized a cash of Rs 2.95 crore in Kadapa district while 10,757 persons were bound over.