71% polling in Telangana’s municipal polls

Hyderabad: Over 70 per cent voters cast their votes in seven urban local bodies in Telangana on Friday amid elaborate arrangements to prevent spread of COVID-19.

According to the State Election Commission (SEC), 71.43 per cent polling was recorded in Greater Warangal and Khammam Municipal Corporations and five municipalities – Siddipet, Jadcherla, Atchampet Kothur and Nakrekal.

The highest turnout of 86.65 per cent was recorded in Nakrekal municipality while Greater Warangal saw lowest polling at 54.74.

Polling was also held for the by-elections to four wards in four municipalities and one ward in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). The average poll percentage in these five wards was 65.45.

A total of 11,59,112 voters, including 5,84,963 women, were eligible to cast their votes in these elections.

As many as 1,307 candidates, including 480 Independents, are in the fray in two corporations and five municipalities. Fourteen candidates are testing their political fortunes in four wards while five candidates are in fray in the Lingojiguda ward in the GHMC.

The poll authorities had set up 1,539 polling stations and deployed 9,809 polling personnel for smooth conduct of elections.

On the direction of the Telangana High Court, the SEC made elaborate arrangements to ensure strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines during the polling.

The polling, which began at 7 a.m., concluded at 5 p.m. Those standing in queues at 5 p.m. were also allowed to vote.

State Election Commissioner C. Parthasarathi said the polling was peaceful and smooth with no untoward incident reported from anywhere.

He said there was voluntary compliance of Covid-19 protocols by majority of the voters. They themselves are standing in queue duly following social distancing and duly wearing the face mask, sanitising their hands; and entering the polling station one after one in a systematic manner. Since the average voters in each polling station is kept around 730, there was less scope for overcrowding. Entire official machinery has strictly implemented the Covid protocols without giving any chance, he added.

Counting of votes will be taken up on May 3.

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