Nearly 64 percent electorate cast their votes in Telangana Assembly elections held on Thursday. The polling in 13 constituencies ended at 4 p.m. while in the remaining 106 segments it concluded at 5 p.m. Those standing in queues at polling booths at 5 p.m. were being allowed to cast their votes.
According to the Election Commission of India, the approximate poll percentage at 5 p.m. was 63.94 percent. This is much lower than the 73.7 percent turnout recorded in the 2018 elections. Barring minor incidents of clashes between supporters of rival parties, the polling was peaceful.
The turnout was poor in the state capital Hyderabad and other urban areas despite special campaigns run by the Election Commission and several NGOs. Hyderabad recorded only 39.97 percent polling while the adjoining Medchal Malkajgiri and Rangareddy districts had also registered low percentages at 49.25 and 53.03 percent respectively.
Medak registered the highest polling at 80.28 percent. Jangaon was a close second with 80.23 percent polling. Poling came to an end at 4 p.m. in 13 constituencies in areas of Maoist influence in undivided Adilabad and Khammam districts.
These constituencies are Sirpur, Chennur, Bellampalli, Mancherial, Asifabad, Manthani, Bhupalapally, Mulugu, Pinapaka, Yellandu, Kothagudem, Aswaraopet and Bhadrachalam. A little over 3.26 crore voters decided the political fortunes of 2,290 candidates. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 3.
The Election Commission had made elaborate arrangements for polling at 35,655 polling stations spread across 33 districts. The voting began on a dull note at many polling stations but picked up pace later. More than 1.85 lakh polling personnel were deployed while 22,000 micro observers monitored the polling process across the state.
Authorities have arranged to webcast at 27,094 polling stations across the state. More than 50,000 police personnel and 375 companies of the central paramilitary forces were deployed. Officials said 23,500 home guards from neighboring states were also deployed.
Election authorities had arranged 72,931 ballot units or EVMs. Of them, 59,779 were deployed at polling stations while the remaining were kept in reserve for replacement. A total of 2,290 candidates including 221 women and one transgender are in the fray. The candidates include seven MPs, 104 sitting MLAs, and five MLCs.
BRS and Congress are locked in a tough battle for power in India’s youngest state. While BRS is aiming for a third consecutive term in power, Congress is confident of forming the first government in a state which it claims to have carved out. BRS is contesting all 119 seats on its own. Congress has left one seat for its ally Communist Party of India (CPI).
BJP is the third major contestant in the fray and it may impact the outcome by cutting into anti-incumbency votes. The BJP has fielded candidates in 111 constituencies and left the remaining eight for its ally Jana Sena Party (JSP) led by actor-politician Pawan Kalyan.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is contesting 107 seats on its own. AIMIM, a friendly party of BRS, has fielded candidates in nine constituencies, all in Hyderabad. In the rest of the state, it has declared support to BRS. The CPI-M has fielded 19 candidates.
BRS President and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao cast his vote in Chintamadaka village in Siddipet district. State Congress chief A. Revanth Reddy cast his vote in the Kodangal constituency in the Vikarabad district.
BRS working president K.T. Rama Rao, Union minister, and State BJP President G. Kishan Reddy, BRS leader K. Kavitha, former Indian cricket captain and Congress candidate from Jubilee Hills, Mohammed Azharuddin, MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi, Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari and Director General of Police Anjani Kumar were among the prominent personalities who cast their votes in Hyderabad.
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