Te­lan­gana reg­is­ters mod­er­ate polling

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Nation - Srini­vasa Rao Ap­pa­rasu let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com ■

In­dia’s new­est state saw 67.5% turnout in the as­sem­bly elec­tions by 5pm on Fri­day but the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion in­di­cated the fi­nal turnout fig­ure might go up be­cause all vot­ers in queue at the time of clos­ing of polls were per­mit­ted to ex­er­cise their fran­chise.

The turnout is marginally lower than the 68.5% that was recorded in the Te­lan­gana re­gion in the 2014 elec­tions, which was held to­gether for the erst­while un­di­vided Andhra Pradesh.

Adi­l­abad dis­trict recorded the high­est poll per­cent­age of over 76.5%, the state cap­i­tal of Hyderabad recorded a poor turnout at only 50%. “Con­stituency-wise, Narsam­pet in Waran­gal (East) dis­trict recorded the high­est poll per­cent­age of 84%, whereas Yakut­pura in Hyderabad recorded the low­est of 45% polling,” Chief Elec­toral Of­fi­cer Ra­jath Ku­mar said. In 13 as­sem­bly con­stituen­cies iden­ti­fied as sen­si­tive in view of their prox­im­ity to Maoist-af­fected ar­eas at the bor­ders of Ma­ha­rash­tra and Ch­hat­tis­garh, polling closed at 4 pm. Ini­tial fig­ures in­di­cated the turnout in these con­stituen­cies hov­ered around the 65% mark.

“Polling went on peace­fully without any law and or­der prob­lem in these con­stituen­cies. We shall take all pre­cau­tions till the Elec­tronic Vot­ing Ma­chines (EVM) and other equip­ment reaches the strong rooms safely,” di­rec­tor gen­eral of po­lice M Ma­hen­der Reddy said.

The elec­tion saw the rul­ing Te­lan­gana Rash­tra Samithi (TRS) take on a Maha Kootami, or grand al­liance, of op­po­si­tion par­ties led by the Congress. TRS pres­i­dent and care­taker chief min­is­ter K Chan­drasekhar Rao ex­pressed con­fi­dence that his party would come back to power with a huge ma­jor­ity. “The mood of the peo­ple is very pos­i­tive to­wards the TRS and we shall win hands down,” KCR said after cast­ing his vote at his na­tive vil­lage in Chin­ta­madaka of Sid­dipet dis­trict in the af­ter­noon.

Pradesh Congress Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent N Ut­tam Ku­mar Reddy said the Maha Kootami was go­ing to form the next gov­ern­ment in Te­lan­gana. “Ac­cord­ing to the in­puts we have re­ceived, we shall get 80 seats,” he claimed .

Ex­cept spo­radic vi­o­lence, polling pro­ceeded peace­fully. In Aman­gal of Kal­wakurthy con­stituency, some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) work­ers al­legedly pelted stones at Congress can­di­date Vam­sic­hand Reddy. An in­jured Reddy was later shifted to Hyderabad for treat­ment.

At Indi­rana­gar po­lice sta­tion, there was a clash be­tween the BJP agent and TRS work­ers after the former al­legedly ob­jected to former min­is­ter and TRS can­di­date from Khairatabad Danam Na­gen­der com­ing to the polling sta­tion wear­ing a pink scarf (pink is the colour TRS uses in its cam­paign ma­te­rial). BJP can­di­date Ra­machan­dra Reddy lodged a com­plaint with the EC and the po­lice against TRS lead­ers.

At Tiru­mala­giri, vot­ers ex­pressed anger at the pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer for lock­ing the polling booth in the af­ter­noon for lunch.

Apart from mal­func­tion­ing EVMs that de­layed vot­ing by up to two hours in some sta­tions , there were also com­plaints of miss­ing names of vot­ers.

Ace bad­minton player Jwala Gutta also fumed at the au­thor­i­ties on find­ing that her name was miss­ing in the elec­toral list.

Former Maoist ide­o­logue and bal­ladeer Gad­dar voted for the first time in his life.

AP

■ A polling of­fi­cer puts the in­deli­ble ink mark on the fin­ger of a spe­cially-abled woman voter in Hyderabad, on Fri­day.

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