Polling underway for 42 LS seats in Andhra, Telangana

Hyderabad/Amaravati: Polling began on Thursday for the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, while in Andhra Pradesh votes were also being cast for the 175-member Assembly.

The polling process started amid tight security at 7 a.m. in all constituencies except Telangana’s Nizamabad, where it will start at 8 a.m. due to the presence of record number of contestants.

The polling will end at 5 p.m., except in Maoist-affected areas where it will end an hour early. In Nizamabad the process will continue till 6 p.m.

A little over 3.93 crore voters in Andhra Pradesh will decide the fortunes of 319 candidates for Lok Sabha seats and 2,118 candidates for Assembly polls.

Authorities have set up 46,120 polling stations, of which 9,000 booths are considered sensitive.

In Telangana, nearly 2.97 crore voters will decide the fortunes of 443 candidates in the single-phase polling. The state has 34,603 polling stations including 5,749 sensitive stations.

The Nizamabad constituency will be entering the record books with a record number candidates and maximum number of EVMs. A total of 185 candidates including 178 farmers are in fray while 12 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used in each polling booth.

The farmers filed the nominations to highlight their problems including lack of remunerative prices for their produce.

Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar said since the mock polling in Nizamabad would take two hours, the actual polling process would begin only at 8 a.m.