Telangana registers around 67% polling

No major incident reported in 119 constituencies in State
Polling across the 119 constituencies in Telangana concluded peacefully on Friday with no major incident reported from any part of the State, barring the attack on Congress candidate Ch. Vamsichand Reddy of Kalwakurthy.
Though election authorities were yet to arrive at a final figure on the percentage of polling, Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar said that information till 5 pm indicated that it was around 67% without a major variation from the 69.5% of the 2014 elections.
“There can be a little variation in the numbers till the final lists are prepared. But the percentage, by and large, is likely to remain the same,” said Mr. Rajat Kumar.
Parties left guessing
Electors thronged the polling stations in large numbers right from the commencement of the polling process at 7 am and the polling touched 47% by 1 pm, leaving the major parties guessing about the prospects the high percentage would throw up. Polling started a bit late in several places as the officials could not complete mock polling in time and there were also problems relating to non-functioning of the electronic voting machines at several places. “It has been noticed that the problems in the EVMs were basically because of human element,” said Mr. Rajat Kumar. The election officials, however, rectified the errors within an hour and voting picked up after 9 am, reaching 23% by 11 am and 47% by 1 pm.
High polling of 76.5% was witnessed in Adilabad district and 76% in Warangal (Rural), while Hyderabad reported the lowest voting of approximately 50% till reports last came in.
Among the constituencies Narsampet and Alair reported the highest polling of 84% and 83% respectively, while Yakutpura in the city witnessed the lowest turnout of 33%. Voting close to 74% was reported from the 13 left wing extremism- affected constituencies in spite of the fact that the process was truncated by one hour, concluding at 4 pm instead of 5 pm. Mr. Rajat Kumar said 4,292 complaints, including 3,250 online, were received relating to model code of conduct violations, of which 3,650 were disposed of and 642 were pending at various stages with action on some kept on hold pending guidance from the Election Commission. The election authority had to replace 754 ballot units (constituting 1.98% of the total), 628 control units (1.9%) and 1,444 voter verifiable paper audit trail machines (4.4%) as they were found defective during the mock poll and when the polling was under way.
Serious note
The election authorities took serious note of some politicians and officials carrying cell phones up to the voting compartment and resolved to call for explanation from them. There was no request from any district for ordering a repoll. Mr. Rajat Kumar said reports were received about the attack on the Congress candidate and clash between Congress and TRS workers at Kudurumala village in Kodangal constituency from where Telangana Congress working president A. Revanth Reddy was in the fray. “Though the situation was challenging ever since the Assembly was dissolved on September 6, we managed to complete polling without any major incident because of advance planning and execution.” The election authority had deployed close to 1 lakh police force and an additional 1.5 lakh were drafted from different departments on poll duties.

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