12K critical polling stations identified: Telangana CEO Vikasraj

The state will poll for the Assembly in a single phase on Thursday and votes will be counted on December 3.

Hyderabad: With less than 12 hours to go for the Telangana Assembly polls, the Chief Electoral Officer for the state, Vikas Raj, on Wednesday said about 12,000 critical polling stations have been identified in the state where additional forces will be deployed.

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Speaking to ANI on Wednesday, the chief electoral officer said, “A total of 35,655 polling stations have been put together in Telangana. Also, conforming with the instructions of the Election Commission, we have also arranged model polling stations and all-women polling stations. All necessary arrangements have been made to ensure hassle-free polling tomorrow. We have also identified about 12,000 critical polling stations for which we have arranged the deployment of additional forces. Apart from central forces, there will also be micro-observers to ensure free and fair polling in the state. Areas declared as Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected will see the deployment of central forces in addition to state forces.”

The CEO added that as many as 27,000 registered voters in the state have already registered their votes by enlisting for the home-voting system this year.

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“About 27,000 people have already registered their votes through the home-voting arrangement. We will also arrange transportation for the returning officers to enable smooth movement to their designated centres. At each polling station, volunteers will be stationed to help out disabled and wheelchair-bound voters. In addition, there will also be braille posters and ballots for the visually-impaired to help them cast their votes. Similarly, we have also put up posters in sign language for the hearing-impaired. We have made all requisite arrangements for our polling staff,” the CEO added.

He informed further that the on-duty officials will conduct a mock poll at 5.30 am on Thursday. The polling will begin at 7 am.

“Teams and polling parties have been dispatched along with security escorts. They will take stock of all the arrangements at the polling stations. A mock poll will be conducted at 5.30 am tomorrow. Once the mock poll is taken care of, the actual polling will start at 7 am,” Vikas Raj said.

The state will poll for the Assembly in a single phase on Thursday and votes will be counted on December 3.

The state will witness a three-cornered contest this time between the ruling BRS, which is bidding to return to the hustings for a third straight term, the Congress, and a resurgent BJP.

In 2018, BRS (then Telangana Rashtra Samithi) won 88 of the 119 seats and had 47.4 per cent of the vote share. The Congress came a distant second with just 19 seats.

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