Telangana polling underway; KCR, Revanth, Owaisi cast votes

A little over 3.26 crore voters will decide the political fortunes of 2,290 candidates.

Hyderabad: Despite the early morning chill, polling was underway amid tight security across Telangana to elect a new state legislative Assembly on Thursday, November 30. Long queues were seen at some polling stations when the voting began at 7 am.

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Technical snags in electronic voting machines were reported from a few places but authorities swiftly arranged alternate machines.

A little over 3.26 crore voters will decide the political fortunes of 2,290 candidates.

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The Election Commission of India has made elaborate arrangements for polling at 35,655 polling stations spread across 33 districts.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Vikas Raj, who was among the early voters in Hyderabad, said the polling was progressing in a smooth and peaceful manner.

More than 1.85 lakh polling personnel have been deployed while 22,000 micro observers were monitoring the polling process across the state.

Authorities have arranged web casting at 27,094 polling stations across the state.

The Election Commission has made special arrangements for PwD (Person with Disability) voters at all polling stations. It has arranged 21,686 wheelchairs for them.

A total of 45,000 personnel from state police, 3,000 from other departments, 50 companies of Telangana State Special Police (TSSP) and 375 companies of the central paramilitary forces have been deployed as part of the massive security arrangements to ensure free and fair polls. The CEO said 23,500 homeguards from neighbouring states were also deployed.

Election authorities have arranged a total of 72,931 ballot units or EVMs. Of them 59,779 will be deployed at polling stations while the remaining will be kept in reserve for replacement.

A total of 2,290 candidates, including 221 women and one transgender, are in the fray.

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).

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 all the 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.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao arrived in in Chintamadaka, Siddipet along with his wife to cast his vote. The BRS president is contesting from Gajwel and Kamareddy constituencies.

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha, former Indian cricket captain and Congress candidate from Jubilee Hills Mohammed Azharuddin, Telangana director general og police Anjani Kumar, BJP Telangana president G Kishan Reddy and BRS candidate Malla Reddy, actors Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh and Allu Arjun were among the early voters in Hyderabad.

BRS working president and Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao cast his vote along with his wife.

Telangana health and finance minister Harish Rao along with his family members casts vote in Siddipet on Thursday.

BJP candidate from Gajwel and Huzurabad, MLA Eatala Rajender cast his vote at Kamalapur, along with his wife.

YSRTP chief Y S Sharmila cast her ballot in MLA colony.

BRS minister Indrakaran Reddy casts his vote at a polling station in Yellapelli village of Nirmal district. He was seen wearing a BRS scarf, in violation of the election code.

Bahujan Samaj Party Telangana president RS Praveen Swaero casts his vote in Sirpur.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Commitee (TPCC) president Revanth Reddy cast his vote in Kodangal. He is contesting from two Kamareddy and Kodangal Assembly constituencies.

Banswada candidate Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy cast his vote along with his wife Pushpa in Pocharam village of Swagram in Banswada Gramin Mandal. He is the sitting and Telangana State Legislature Speaker.

AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi casts his vote at St.Faiz school under Rajendranagar assembly constituency.

TSRTC MD VC Sajjanar along with his family cast his vote in Kondapur.

Polling will end at 5 p.m. However, in 13 constituencies in Maoist influence districts, polling will conclude at 4 p.m.

(With inputs from IANS)

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