About 90 percent polling in Telangana’s Paleru constituency

Hyderabad: About 90 percent voters cast their votes on Monday in the by-elections for Paleru assembly constituency in Telangana’s Khammam district.

Enthusiasm marked the polling at all 243 centres. Long queues were seen at the booth with voters turning out in large numbers, braving the hot sun.

The balloting was peaceful with no untoward incident being reported from any part of the constituency.

The final polling figures will be known later after receipt of reports from all centres, officials said.

Over 1.90 lakh voters are eligible to cast their ballots.

In 2014 elections, 91.46 polling was recorded.

For the first time, printers have been attached to electronic voting machines (EVM) where voters can see their vote in a printed slip for seven seconds after pressing the button.

The Election Commission (EC) had deployed 1,720 personnel for the smooth conduct of the poll process. Over 3,000 policemen have also been deployed as part of the security arrangements.

The by-election was necessitated due to the death of of sitting legislator of main opposition Congress Ramreddy Venkat Reddy. The party has fielded his widow Sucharitha Reddy.

State Roads and Buildings Minister T. Nageswara Rao is the candidate of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which is looking to continue its series of poll victories.

Though a total of 13 candidates are in the fray, it is mainly a three-cornered contest, with P.Sudershan of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) the third key candidate.

Congress is being backed by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress Parry, who have not fielded their candidates.

In the run-up to the bypolls, the Election Commission (EC) had transferred Khammam District Collector Lokesh Kumar, Superintendent of Police Shahnawaz Qasim and assistant returning officer Ganesh after the Congress complained against them.

The counting of votes will be on May 19.

In 2014, Venkat Reddy had won the seat by defeating his nearest rival Swarna Kumari of the TDP by 21,863 votes.