On Monday night, a fire broke out at one of the counting centres in Andhra Pradesh's Tirupati town, 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 incident spot 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 TDP led by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and YSRCP’s Jagan Mohan Reddy. Actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena party is also in the fray along with Congress and the Bhartiya Janta Party. This is the first assembly elections in the residual state of Andra post the state bifurcation in 2014 and a party will need to win 88 seats to form a government, which is the magic number.