Preparations for Telangana Assembly polls underway, says CEO; EVMs, ballot boxes begin to arrive in state

Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajath Kumar said on Friday that preparations for Assembly polls in the state were underway, and EVMs, ballot boxes and VVPAT machines have started to arrive.

Officials were being sensitised even as the electoral list was being prepared, and as many as 32,574 booth level officers would be available for addressing issues related to the voters' list, Kumar told reporters in Hyderabad.

He said apart from EVMs, over 52,000 ballot boxes, around 41,000 Central Units and 44,000 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines were expected to reach various districts before 20 September.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The CEO said on 15 and 16 September, booth level officials would be available at all polling stations to take up issues related to the voters' list.

Kumar said EVMs and VVPAT machines were vital for the successful conduct of elections, adding "They have started arriving. The first lot has come to Asifabad district. As per my knowledge, three or four districts have already received the EVMs. We are getting them continuously."

After their arrival, a preliminary level inspection will be conducted to detect manufacturing defects, the CEO said, adding "it will be done in the presence of political parties to remove doubts, if any."

He said an Election Commission (EC) team was likely to visit the state again once they feel the preparedness is satisfactory.

"There are three machines-ballot units, control units and VVPATs. We have 32,574 polling stations. As per that, they are giving 52,100 ballot units. Each ballot unit can accommodate 16 names, including NOTA. About 40,000 to 41,000 control units and 44,000 VVPATs are coming," he said.

Kumar said the EC team during an earlier visit had reviewed the law and order situation in the state and noted that there were no major incidents of crime during the previous elections.

"By and large, as per the figures given by the DGP, there have been lesser incidents, including normal crimes, in the state," the CEO said.

Seven districts of Telangana have been identified as extremist-affected areas by the home ministry of which one — Bhadradri Kothagudem — witnesses more activity, he added.

The requirement for central paramilitary forces has also been discussed at a preliminary level, he said.

Noted badminton coach Gopichand and former India cricketer VVS Laxman have been roped in for a promotional film to appeal to the people to participate in voting.

A media consultant will be appointed in the CEO's office who will monitor the campaign on the social media.

The EC will work with the cybercrime department if required, he said.

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Updated Date: Sep 14, 2018 19:16:16 IST

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