Te­lan­gana sees 67% voter turnout; Ra­jasthan 73%

Polling was mostly peace­ful, say EC of­fi­cials

The Hindu Business Line - - POLITICS - OUR BU­REAUS AFP GN RAO

Te­lan­gana and Ra­jasthan re­ported pro­vi­sional voter turnout of 67 per cent and 72.62 per cent re­spec­tively, se­nior of­fi­cials of the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (EC) said here on Fri­day evening.

Polling took place in 51 dis­tricts cover­ing 199 Assem­bly con­stituen­cies in Ra­jasthan and 31 dis­tricts in Te­lan­gana cover­ing 119 Assem­bly con­stituen­cies.

In both the States, the fi­nal fig­ures are ex­pected to be higher as vot­ers were still queue­ing up to cast their bal­lot, said of­fi­cials. They added that vot­ing was peace­ful, bar­ring a few in­ci­dents in both the States.

Ra­jat Ku­mar, Chief Elec­toral Of­fi­cer of Te­lan­gana, also said no ma­jor in­ci­dents were re­ported in the State.

Te­lan­gana had re­ported a Vot­ers queue up to cast their bal­lot at a polling sta­tion in Jodh­pur on Fri­day

voter turnout of 69.5 per cent dur­ing Assem­bly elec­tions in 2013, while Ra­jasthan recorded a voter turnout of 75.23 per cent.

Dur­ing the re­cently con­cluded elec­tions, Te­lan­gana re­ported brisk voter turnout in ru­ral ar­eas while in Hyderabad “it was a lit­tle less” said of­fi­cials, adding that vot­ers in­cluded women, youth, se­nior cit­i­zens and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

While 2.8 crore vot­ers were

el­i­gi­ble to cast their vote in Te­lan­gana, over 4.74 crore vot­ers were en­ti­tled to vote in Ra­jasthan dur­ing the elec­tions which con­cluded on Fri­day.

Maoist re­gions

In Te­lan­gana, while the polling was con­ducted from 7 am to 5 pm in 106 con­stituen­cies, in the 13 Maoist af­fected con­stituen­cies, the polling was held till 4 pm as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure. The elec­tions Women emerge from a polling booth at Theerdala, in Te­lan­gana’s Khammam dis­trict, af­ter cast­ing their votes

will de­cide the fate of about 1,800 can­di­dates in the fray.

The Te­lan­gana elec­tion has seen a hard fought con­test

be­tween the K Chan­drasekhar Rao-led Te­lan­gana Rash­tra Samithi (TRS) and Praja Ku­tami, a coali­tion of the Congress, the TDP, the Te­lan­gana Jana Samithi and the Left par­ties. While the BJP is con­test­ing on its own, the All In­dia MIM is con­test­ing in Hyderabad, which has been the lat­ter’s strong­hold over the years.

De­vices in or­der

Of­fi­cials said that the Elec­tronic Vot­ing Ma­chines (EVMs) and the Ver­i­fi­able Voter Pa­per Au­dit Trails (VVPATs) func­tioned well dur­ing the elec­tions in both the States.

In Te­lan­gana, only 394 bal­lot units of the over 46,000 units that were used were re­placed.

The of­fi­cials de­nied al­le­ga­tions of EVMs be­ing mis­used, adding that in Mad­hya Pradesh, the strong room for stor­ing the EVMs was close to a Reliance Jio mo­bile tower which was not func­tion­ing prop­erly.

“The strong room was about 100 me­tres away from the mo­bile tower which peo­ple re­paired. We have three lay­ers of se­cu­rity for the strong room,” said an of­fi­cial.

In re­sponse to a ques­tion on whether in Ra­jasthan an EVM and a VVPAT were found to be in the wrong place, of­fi­cials said that a poll of­fi­cial had taken the re­serve EVM and VVPAT away the pre­vi­ous evening. The con­cerned poll of­fi­cial has been served a show-cause no­tice, the EC said in Delhi.

Dur­ing the lat­est round of elec­tions, au­thor­i­ties seized ₹136.89 crore, in­clud­ing ₹115.19 crore in cash and 5.453 lakh litres of liquor, in Te­lan­gana, while in Ra­jasthan ₹86.46 crore was seized, in­clud­ing ₹12.85 crore in cash and liquor worth ₹39.49 crore.

The fo­cus now shifts to De­cem­ber 11, when count­ing will be taken up for Mad­hya Pradesh, Mi­zo­ram and Ch­hat­tis­garh, along with Te­lan­gana and Ra­jasthan.

While Ch­hat­tis­garh saw two-phase poll on Novem­ber 12 and 20, Mi­zo­ram and Mad­hya Pradesh com­pleted their polls on Novem­ber 25.

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