Hyderabad: Heavy polling was recorded on Saturday in the by-election to the Warangal Lok Sabha constituency in Telangana. About 44 percent of over 15 lakh voters cast their votes till 1 p.m., poll officials said. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the constituency.
Polling began on a dull note at 7 a.m. but later picked up. More voters were seen in villages than in urban areas.
The polling in all 1,778 polling stations spread over seven assembly segments will continue till 5 p.m. A total of 1,509,671 voters, half of them voters, are eligible to cast their votes. As many as 23 candidates are in the fray.
Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwarlal said about six lakh voters had cast their votes till noon. He hoped that the turnout will surpass 78.54 percent recorded in 2014 general elections. The Election commission has made elaborate arrangements to ensure free and fair polling.
About 8,000 polling personnel including 738 micro observers have been deployed. As many as 10,000 security personnel including central paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure peaceful conduct of the polling. Bhanwarlal said the polling process was being monitored through webcasting at 626 polling stations.
At the other centres, officials have arranged videographers to record the proceedings.
Telangana assembly speaker Madhusudhana Chary, Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari, Congress MP R. Anana Bhaskar and TDP leader E. Dayakar Rao were among the prominent people who cast their votes in the constituency. Kadiam Srihari’s resignation as an MP following his induction in the state cabinet led to the by-election. The stakes are high for TRS, which has fielded P. Dayakar.
The Congress has nominated former union minister Sarve Satyanarayana while P. Devaiah is the BJP candidate. The Left parties have jointly fielded Vinod Kumar while Suryaprakash is the candidate of the YSR Congress Party. Chief Minister and TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao campaigned for the party candidate in the by-poll that is being seen as a referendum on the state government’s performance.
Central leaders of Congress party also participated in the campaign. YSR Congress chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, the leader of opposition in Andhra Pradesh, campaigned for his party candidate. Counting of votes will be held on November 24.