Amaravati, May 22 (PTI) The Election Commission on Tuesday directed the Andhra Pradesh police chief to take strict criminal action against a ruling YSRCP MLA who was caught on camera damaging an EVM in the Macherla assembly constituency during the May 13 polls.

Electronic voting machines (EVMs) were damaged on May 13 in seven polling stations in Macherla constituency, including in polling station number 202 where local MLA P Ramakrishna Reddy allegedly damaged an EVM.

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“In Macherla Assembly Constituency, EVMs were damaged in seven polling stations including the PS no (polling station number) 202 where this incident of damage of EVM by the sitting MLA P Ramakrishna Reddy was recorded in the web camera,” said a statement from Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Mukesh Kumar Meena's office late on Tuesday.

Considering the gravity of the matter, the poll body took a serious view of this development, directing the CEO to inform DGP Harish Kumar Gupta to take strict criminal action against all the persons involved.

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Palnadu district election officials have provided the footage of these incidents to the police to assist them in the investigation.

“As reported by the police, the name of the MLA (P Ramakrishna Reddy) has been included as accused during the investigation,” it said.

Further, the Election Commission called on the police to take stringent action against all the persons involved in the EVM damaging cases to make an example out of them so that "nobody in the future dares to take any such action to interfere into the peaceful conduct of polls".

The southern state witnessed poll-related violence at several places in the districts of Palnadu, Tirupati and Anantapur.

Andhra Pradesh went to simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls on May 13.

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