06:17 GMT21 October 2020
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    One election officer died on duty due to a cardiac arrest. The two violence-related deaths took place in the state of Andhra Pradesh, where local state elections were also held along with the national elections.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): The first phase of the seven-phased polling in the mammoth Indian national elections was marred by three deaths on Thursday, two of them on account of poll-related skirmishes, whereas one official died due to a fatal heart attack while on election duty.

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    Speaking to Sputnik, the Election Commission of India's spokesperson said, "One of our polling officials named Tenak Socia died due to cardiac arrest while performing election duty in Tirap district in Arunachal Pradesh state".

    The other two deaths were reported from the south-eastern coastal state of Andhra Pradesh, where polling was being held for national as well as state elections simultaneously.

    Party workers from the state's Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu's Telegu Desam Party (TDP) clashed with their rivals from YSR Congress (YSRC) at Anantapur. Both parties lost a worker each.

    YSRC alleged that the people from the state's governing party (TDP) had tried to rig the votes at a booth where polling was going on. It claimed that one of their deceased, Pulla Reddy, was attacked with sickles by rival party workers and murdered. It further alleged that one more worker belonging to their party was injured.

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    Countering the opposition's allegations, the state's Chief Minister Naidu, while condemning the killings, including that of his party worker Sidda Bhaskar Reddy, said that it was the YSRC that first resorted to violent means to win the election.

    Looking to the developing situation, additional police forces were rushed to the polling station and the situation was brought under control.


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