Telangana Elections 2018 updates: Polling ends in Naxal-hit constituencies; exit polls barred till 5.30 pm

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Telangana Elections 2018 updates: Polling ends in Naxal-hit constituencies; exit polls barred till 5.30 pm
  • 17:00 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi asks Congress workers to be "vigilant" about EVMs

    The Congress president's message to party workers in poll-bound states today was after a series of controversies over EVMs in Madhya Pradesh.

  • 16:53 (IST)

    EC replaced 22 ballot units in Telangana

    "Polling commenced at 7 am, though at some polling centres there was a delay of 10 to 15 minutes. In one or two cases EVMs needed to be replaced. We have replaced 22 ballot units, 19 control units and 42 VVPATS," Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar told reporters.

  • 16:35 (IST)

    EC bars exit polls till 5.30 pm

    The Election Commission has barred the airing of exit polls till 5.30 pm. Following is the text of the notification issued by the PIB —

    The Election Commission of India, in exercise of the powers under sub-section(1) of Section 126A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 notified the period between 7.00 A.M. on 12.11.2018 and 5.30 P.M. on 07.12.2018 as the period during which conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicizing  the result of exit poll by means of the print or electronic media or in any other manner shall be prohibited in the ongoing general elections to the  Legislative Assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram &Telangana, 2018.

              Further, under Section 126(1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, displaying any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media, would be prohibited during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in each of the phase in connection with the aforesaid general elections.

  • 16:26 (IST)

    Polling ends in LWE-affected constituencies

    Voting has ended in 13 Left-Wing Extremism affected constituencies. Polling in the remaining constituencies in Telangana will end at 5 p.m. The constituencies where voting ended an hour early were Sirpur, Chennur, Bellampally, Mancherial, Asifabad, Manthani, Bhupalpalle, Mulugu, Pinapaka, Yellandu, Kothagudem, Aswaraopeta and Bhadrachalam.

  • 16:14 (IST)

    MIM corporator gets into argument with Telangana Police

    Mahmood Quadri, MIM corporator of Pathergatti, Charminar was seen getting into an argument with the police over not letting in voters with approved alternative IDs. He placed a call to the Returning Officer in an attempt to clarify the status. The EC has announced that as long as one is a registered voter and their name is on the list, they can exercise their franchise with the alternative documents like passport, driving license, Aadhaar Card etc in lieu of Voter ID.

    Syed Maqsood/101Reporters 

  • 16:05 (IST)

    Jukkal records highest turnout

    The constituency in Telangana has recorded a turnout of 67.91%.

  • 16:03 (IST)

    Telangana records 56.17 percent voting till 3 p.m.

    An Election Commission spokesperson has announced the most recent figures for Telangana.

  • 16:01 (IST)

    Suryapet voters express resentment with KCR

    MD Abbas (right), a voter from Suryapet, is critical of KCR. "He has neither given 12% reservation for minorities nor employment to the educated youth. "Thalli" (mother) Sonia Gandhi has given us Telangana and KCR has cheated the state. First, he promised to provide 3 lakh jobs but all he has given are goats and buffaloes. He did not give double bedroom houses or tap water for every house. We are hoping for change and have decided to vote for Congress." 

    Sursingh Rajpurohit/101Reporters

  • 15:51 (IST)

    Is there a TRS, BJP 'friendship' brewing catalyzed by uncertainity ahead of polls?

    While in the recent times, KCR has directed more firepower at Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu during the Telangana Assembly election campaign, speculation is rife about a tacit understanding between the TRS and BJP.

    To be sure, his Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had given hints of this approach earlier. In June, when chief ministers of four states held a joint press conference to express their support to their Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal in his agitation against Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, KCR was absent. The press conference was meant to be a show of Opposition unity, but the Telangana chief minister gave it a miss despite being in Delhi. This was a stark contrast to his approach not long before that, when he made a push for Opposition unity, saying that an alternative to the Congress and BJP would soon emerge to bring about a qualitative change in Indian politics.

    Meanwhile, with both TDP and Congress making insinuations about the TRS, it remains to be seen how the Telangana Assembly election result affects the BJP’s footprint in southern India, and national politics in general. In such a scenario, if an opportunity presents itslef, the parties may not hesitate in realigning as per their political interests. 

    Read full article here 

  • 15:38 (IST)

    52% voter turnout till 3 pm

    As of 3 pm Telangana has registered 52 percent polling overall. Hyderabad has seen the lowest turnout with 38 percent while Medak district with 55 percent has seen the highest turnout.

  • 15:10 (IST)

    Telangana voters miffed over names left off electoral roll, tweet using #WheresMyVote 

    After badminton player Jwala Gutta claimed that her name 'disappeared' from Telangana voter list, IPS officer T Krishna Prasad also tweeted about his missing name. He hit out at the Election Commission for "denying" him his right to vote. Delhi deputy chief minister too, slammed EC over the issue.Miffed voters created a thread on Twitter, replying to Jwala's tweets. They also used the #WheresMyVote extensively to register their protest. 

    Speaking to Firstpost, another irate voter in Pitlam village said: Why am I being denied my right despite having all the right documents. Am I dead? he asks. "I want my vote! That's all!"

    With inputs from Rajpurohit/101Reporters

  • 15:00 (IST)

    Meanwhile... Chandrababu Naidu looks to woo 'settlers' from Andhra Pradesh

    According to local political analysts, Andhra voters have a huge say in at least seven-eight Assembly seats in Greater Hyderabad area. They say there are about 12 lakh “settler” voters in the region.  

    The TDP and the Congress are also using “brand Hyderabad” to remind the city people that it was the TDP and subsequent Congress governments that made Hyderabad a global city under Naidu and YSR. They accuse KCR of ignoring the development of Hyderabad completely. Naidu and Rahul Gandhi made it a point to attack him at every rally over “stalled” developments in and around Hyderabad under KCR’s rule. 

  • 14:54 (IST)

    KCR drums up anti-TDP sentiment to take on Prajakutami 

    The TRS, faced with an alliance of all Opposition parties except the BJP, has blamed the TDP of joining hands with the Congress and even called N Chandrababu Naidu ‘Telangana Drohi’. KCR said that “cheap Congress fellows” have “betrayed Telangana through and through”. “The Congress and the BJP are coming up with impractical poll assurances,” KCR asserted and asked people to choose his party.

    "He is a traitor who has consistently worked against the interests of Telangana. It is appalling how the Congress, that killed nearly 400 Telugu youth in 1968, and Naidu, who wrote 36 letters to stop the irrigation projects in Telangana, have formed an alliance. How can they have the audacity to even face the state?" KCR said. 

  • 14:39 (IST)

    Here are voting percentage till 1 pm

  • 14:18 (IST)

    Telangana CM confident of retaining power with huge majority

    Telangana Chief Minister and TRS President K Chandrashekhar Rao on Friday exuded confidence that his party will retain power in the state after the Assembly polls with a huge majority. The chief minister and his wife Shobha Rao cast their votes in Chintamadaka village, which is part of Siddipet constituency, where his nephew and cabinet minister T Harish Rao is seeking re-election.

  • 13:57 (IST)

    'Not doing this to join politics': Jwala Gutta tweets out video after people suggest shuttler didn't register as voter

    Irked by "silly questions" on Twitter about her name missing from the electoral roll, shuttler Jwala Gutta tweeted out a video clarifying that she did finish all the formalities of the registration process, but only her mother could vote from her family of four. Jwala said that she had been living at the same residence for past 12 years and she couldn't understand why some names were deleted from the electoral roll. 

  • 13:42 (IST)

    Mosques advice people to go out and vote 

    As people gathered for Friday prayers at a mosque in Hussaini Alam in Old City, a special announcement was made after the sermon, asking worshippers to exercise their right to vote without fail and help good parties come to power.

    Input by Syed Maqsood/101Reporters

  • 13:22 (IST)

    KCR's son KT Rama Rao casts his vote

    KT Rama Rao, son of Chief minister KCR, has cast his vote. The TRS leader is contesting for the third time from Sircilla constituency, which is about 140 kilometres from the state capital Hyderabad. KT Rama Rao, who is number two in both party and government, is aiming for a third term from Sircilla constituency.He had won with a margin of over 53,000 votes against his Congress rival in the 2014 Assembly elections. 

  • 13:15 (IST)

    Voters complain of missing names in electoral roll

    Reports mount of voters not being able to find their names in the voters' list. In the St Anne's School polling booth in Nampally alone, several voters had the same complaint. Anoop Kumar, who was able to cast his vote, is annoyed that none of his other family members, who had voted last time, were able to do so today and there was no one there who could help them. Earlier, shuttler Jwala Gutta has raised a similar complaint saying she was unable to find her name in the electoral roll.

    Syed Maqsood/101Reporters

  • 12:58 (IST)

    Clashes between Congress, TRS workers reported in Jukkal 

    A clash occurred near a polling booth in Thimmanagar village of Jukkal constituency between local TRS and Congress leaders. Congress workers allege that drunken TRS workers attacked and abused them without provocation.

    Sursingh Rajpurohit/101Reporters

  • 12:50 (IST)

    KCR, son, nephew among 1,821 candidates in fray

    Telangana Chief Minister and TRS President K. Chandrashekhar Rao, his 14 cabinet colleagues including a son and a nephew and state presidents of the Congress and the BJP are among 1,821 candidates in the fray for Friday's Assembly elections.

    All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, state Congress working President A. Revanth Reddy and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder NT Rama Rao's granddaughter N. Suhasini are among the other key candidates whose political fortunes will be decided in the polling on Friday.

    KCR's son KT Rama Rao, who is number two in both party and government, is aiming for a third term from Sircilla constituency.

  • 12:42 (IST)

    Hyderabad Police commissioner casts his vote, assures people of a peaceful polling exercise 

    Commissioner of Police for Hyderabad City, Anjani Kumar, casts his vote near Charminar. He told the reporters that the polling was being conducted peacefully across all 15 constituencies in Hyderabad and none of the 3,900 polling booths have reported any incidents. He appealed to the first-time voters to participate in democracy and governance. He assured the public that his department was ensuring peaceful elections and is ready to face any situation. "All senior officers are on duty in addition to the central police force, the paramilitary, CRPF, including female battalions and Rapid Action Forces," he said.

    Input by Syed Maqsood/101Reporters

  • 12:36 (IST)

    BJP denies link to attack on Congress candidate

    Kalwakurthy Congress candidate Vamshi Chand Reddy was attacked earlier in the day. He is now being treated at the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences. He has alleged that he was attacked by BJP workers. However, BJP has denied the charge stating that the Congress had already conceded defeat and that is why it was spreading lies about the saffron party. 

    "#BJP4Telangana believes Congress is already conceding defeat. That's the reason for their leaders creating rumours against BJP. @UttamTPCC statements against BJP is highlighting Congress retreat in the elections. Congress is playing victim games sensing disastrous defeat. BJP has nothing to do with attack on Vamshi Chander Reddy. Police should investigate & book those responsible for the attack. Police should also ensure wrong rumours are not spread through media. (sic)

  • 12:25 (IST)

    Sania Mirza casts her vote

    Tennis player Sania Mirza cast her vote at Film Nagar Cultural Center in Hyderabad.  

  • 12:20 (IST)

    A differently-abled voter shares which issues dominated his decision 

    A hearing-impaired voter from Musheerabad, Syed Mahmood, says he has cast his vote based on the best of his understanding. He says that he expects the future government to develop good roads, provide uninterrupted water and electricity, and create employment opportunities in the state.

    Input by Syed Maqsood/101Reporters

  • 12:06 (IST)

    Congress candidate attacked in Nagarkurnool's Kalwakurthy, blames BJP workers for violence 

    Kalwakurthy Congress candidate Vamshi Chand Reddy was attacked earlier in the day. He is now being treated at the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences. He has alleged that he was attacked by BJP workers.

    Ramesh Babu/101Reporters

  • 12:03 (IST)

    TDP candidate in Serilingampally accuses TRS workers of turning away his supporters from polling booth

    Ananda Prasad, the TDP candidate from Serilingampally who is fighting the incumbent TRS MLA, is indignant about voters being "turned away" from his constituency. He claims TRS party workers are sitting (as election agents) on all the polling counters.

    "They are analysing the voters and allowing only TRS supporters inside while telling others that they do not have a vote in the booth. We have noticed this in Miyapur and Chandanagar and have informed the Election Commission. Even the police are assisting them with this. As a candidate, when I went inside to question this, the police dragged me out. Are they neutral or not?"

    Input by Ramu/101Reporters

  • 12:00 (IST)

    Will Hyderabadi biryani become Bhagya Biryani?

    BJP's Yogi Adityanath promised to rename the state capital as Bhagyanagar if his party was voted to power. The Uttar Pradesh government, under Adityanath, has renamed some ancient cities to reflect a more Hindu character. 

    "If Hyderabad has to be transformed into 'Bhagyanagar' then I call upon you to support BJP to form the government (in Telangana)", he had said.


    Telangana ​BJP leader T Raja Singh Lodh, who was an MLA in the dissolved Assembly, had on several occasions earlier said that BJP would aim to rename Hyderabad and other cities in the state after the names of great people, if elected to power. 

  • 11:18 (IST)

    'Congress fulfilled dream of separate Telangana,' Rahul Gandhi makes final poll pitch in audio message

    The youngest state of India, Telangana has lost four precious years due to ‘Corruption, Commission & Coterie Raj'. Let us throw out the arrogance of power and usher in a New era towards a ‘Bangaru Telangana’," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala's appeal today. Surjewala tweeted an audio message from Rahul Gandhi, in which the Congress president is heard reminding voters that it was the Congress party that created Telangana. He also thanked Congress workers for their hard work ahead of the polls.

  • 11:14 (IST)

    Nizamabad sees triangular contest as BJP, combined Opposition give tough fight to TRS in its bastion

    The Nizamabad district, considered a stronghold of the TRS is witnessing a triangular contests in majority of the Assembly constituencies. As the CPI, TJS, Congress and TDP have fielded a common candidate, the ruling TRS is facing a tough fight. However, BJP candidates have also emerged strong contenders in Nizamabad urban, Kamareddy, Jukkal, Nizamabad rural and Armoor Assembly constituencies, Deccan Chronicle reported. 

  • 11:10 (IST)

    Kavitha Rao, KCR's daughter and Nizamabad MP queues up to cast her vote

    TRS MP K Kavitha stands in a queue to cast her vote at polling booth no. 177 in Pothangal, Nizamabad.

  • 10:59 (IST)

    A few villages boycott polls in Khammam and Rangapuram Thanda

    Reports are coming in of a poll boycott in a few villages. Voters at Imamnagar in Khammam refused to cast their votes saying none of their problems have been addressed over the past four years. Local leaders have rushed to the area to talk to the protestors. Polling is also being boycotted in Rangapuram Thanda in Kodad constituency.

  • 10:55 (IST)

    Only 136 women candidates in fray

    While women voters across Telangana number around 1.39 crore, only 136 women candidates are participating in these polls.

    Women voters arrive at the polling booth in St Ann's High School in Nampally in Hyderabad, a locality that hosts the party offices of Congress, BJP, MIM, TJS and many others. 

    Input by: Syed Maqsood

  • 10:54 (IST)

    Data from last election shows 2% vote swing in 2018 may change outcome of election


    Last time, KCR's party won 63 seats against the 21 seats of Congress and 15 of Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party. This year data from the last election shows a 2 percent vote swing may change the outcome of the election. Rao had a good equation with Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM, which won 7 seats in the last election.

  • 10:38 (IST)

    NT Rama Rao's granddaughter contest polls on TDP ticket from Kukatpally

    Voters at a polling booth at Kukatpally constituency where Suhasini Nandamuri, granddaughter of TDP founder NT Rama Rao and daughter of actor-turned-politician Nandamuri Harikrishna, is contesting her maiden elections as a TDP candidate. Her uncle and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu campaigned extensively for her here. She is only the second politician from NTR's family to contest from Telangana after NTR himself lost from Kalwakurthy in 1989.

    Input by Ramu/101Reporters

  • 10:34 (IST)

    NT Rama Rao Junior queues up with family to cast vote 

    Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Junior, also known as Jr NTR or Tarak, a well-known Telegu film personality was seen outside the  polling booth. 

  • 10:27 (IST)

    10.15% voter turnout till am in Telangana, says EC

    At 10 am, the voter turnout stands at 10.15% across Telangana, the Election Commission said. 

  • 10:12 (IST)

    2-3% swing votes may play decisive role in Telangana

    While KCR's party won 63 seats last time against the 21 seats of Congress and 15 of Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party, data from the last election shows a 2 percent vote swing may change the outcome of the election. This is where an alliance can also come into play. While KCR has dubbed Congress the only enemy of Telangana, his criticism of the BJP has not been as pronounced. The caretaker chief minister also shares a good equation with Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM, which he has termed a friendly party. AIMIM had won 7 seats in the last election.

  • 10:07 (IST)

    As money power dominates election, Adilabad shopkeeper puts up sign saying his vote is not for sale 

    Image sourced by Sursingh Rajpurohit/101Reporters

  • 10:03 (IST)

    After EVM snags, missing names from voters' lists inconvenience voters 

    After technical glitches, missing names from voters' list mars Telangana Assembly elections. While the common man is already miffed, known faces of the state have also expressed their dissatisfaction. Badminton player Jwala Gutta took to Twitter to share that her name was missing from the list despite it being available on the online list. "Surprised to see my name disappear from the voting list after checking online. How’s the election fair...when names arr mysteriously disappearing from the list," Jwala tweeted. 

  • 09:58 (IST)

    AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi casts vote in Hyderabad 

    MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi voted in Hyderabad during Telangana assembly elections today. He appealed people to come out in large numbers and vote and "exercise their choice". "We will overcome all political challenges with the support of people of Telangana. I hope people of Hyderabad will utilise their holiday today and strengthen the democracy of the country," he said, requesting residents not to sit back at home. 

  • 09:48 (IST)

    Watch: BJP leader G Kishan Reddy casts his vote

    BJP state president G Kishan Reddy arrives to cast his vote. He is contesting from Amberpet, a constituency that has elected him thrice before. At the end of each of his five-year terms, he has been presenting a public report about his performance there.

    Input by Ramu/101Reporters

  • 09:38 (IST)

    Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu urges people to vote

    Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu urged people to cast their votes. The TDP has aligned with the Prajakutami opposition alliance. 

  • 09:31 (IST)

    8.97% turnout recorded till 9 am

    Voting turnout in Telangana Assembly Elections is 8.97 percent till 9 am. Six percent of the voters have exercised their right in Nalgonda district, seven percent in Hyderabad, eight percent in Rangareddy and five percent in Adilabad. 

    Input by Maheshwar Reddy/101Reporters 

  • 09:21 (IST)

    Volunteers help person's with disability as EC aims to make polling process more accessible

    The theme of the election this time, according to the Election Commission is 'accessibility' and special arrangements have been made for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). 

  • 09:15 (IST)

    Opposition alliance, TRS give front page ads on polling day, EC says no poll violation 

    Even as the election campaign concluded day before yesterday, and the Model Code of Conduc dictates that there is a ban on any form of election campaign after 5 pm on 5 December, political advertisements were splashed across the front pages of dailies in Telangana. However, according to The News MinuteTelangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar clarified that it was not a poll violation. “The advertisements are pre-certified, so I do not think they are in violation of the MCC,” he said, addressing the media on Thursday. 

  • 09:10 (IST)

    Security up in 13 Left-Wing extremism hit seats

    Over 50,000 security personnel including 18,860 drafted from neighbouring states and central forces have been deployed as part of the massive security arrangements, with a particular focus on 4000 vulnerable booths and the 13 Naxal-affected districts. Over 1.50 lakh polling personnel have been deployed to conduct the polling process. 

  • 09:01 (IST)

    Voters queue up at booths in Jukkal reserved seat; two-time sitting MLA faces 6 other candidates in fray 

    Voters check for their names on the booth's list at Pitlam, a village in the reserved constituency of Jukkal. Here two-time MLA Hanmanth Shinde, currently with the TRS, is contesting against six other candidates — three independents and one each from INC, BJP and BSP.

    Input by Sursingh Rajpurohit/101Reporters 

  • 08:57 (IST)

    A 90-yr-old voter walks it down to polling booth in Telangana 

    A 90-year-old voter, Yaddama is on her way to cast her vote for Jukkal (SC) constituency.

    Image by Sursingh Rajpurohit

  • 08:50 (IST)

    Telangana deputy CM casts his vote

    Telangana deputy chief minister Kadiyan Srihari cast his vote in Warangal seat early morning. He arrived with his family at the polling booth. 

Telangana Elections 2018 LATEST updates: Polling in all constituencies in Telangana has ended.

The TRS, faced with an alliance of all Opposition parties except the BJP, has blamed the TDP of joining hands with the Congress and even called N Chandrababu Naidu 'Telangana Drohi'. KCR said that "cheap Congress fellows” have “betrayed Telangana through and through."

The voter turnout in Telangana at 1 pm stood at 47.08 percent. However, several people have been complaining that they could not exercise their right because there names were not included in the electoral roll. After badminton star Jwala Gutta, it's Telangana's Road Safety and Railways Director General of Police T. Krishna Prasad, whose name is missing from the voter list. He also took to social media to express his anger.

A clash occurred near a polling booth in Thimmanagar village of Jukkal constituency between local TRS and Congress leaders. Congress workers allege that drunken TRS workers attacked and abused them without provocation.

Ananda Prasad, the TDP candidate from Serilingampally who is fighting the incumbent TRS MLA, is indignant about voters being "turned away" from his constituency. He claims TRS party workers are sitting (as election agents) on all the polling counters.

Kalwakurthy Congress candidate Vamshi Chand Reddy was attacked earlier in the day. He is now being treated at the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences. He has alleged that he was attacked by BJP workers. However, BJP has denied the charge stating that the Congress had already conceded defeat and that is why it was spreading lies about the saffron party.

The Nizamabad district, considered a stronghold of the TRS is witnessing a triangular contests in majority of the Assembly constituencies. As the CPI, TJS, Congress and TDP have fielded a common candidate, the ruling TRS is facing a tough fight. However, BJP candidates have also emerged strong contenders in Nizamabad urban, Kamareddy, Jukkal, Nizamabad rural and Armoor Assembly constituencies.

Celebrities like Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Jr NTR and tennis player Sania Mirza came out to cast their vote. They urged the people of Telangana to exercise their franchise. Meanwhile, shuttler JwalaGutta could not cast her vote after her name "magically disappeared" from the voters' roll.

The Election Commission has seized nearly Rs 113 crore in cash, liquor and other valuables during the campaign in Telangana as of Wednesday. Nearly five lakh litres of liquor worth about Rs 10 crore was seized since the Model Code of Conduct came into force. EC officials have said the cash seized this time was Rs 28 crore higher than the total amount seized during last elections held in undivided Andhra Pradesh.

After technical glitches, missing names from voters' list mars Telangana Assembly elections. While the common man is already miffed, known faces of the state have also expressed their dissatisfaction. Badminton player Jwala Gutta took to Twitter to share that her name was missing from the list despite it being available on the online list.

Voting turnout in Telangana Assembly Elections is 8.97 percent till 9 am. Six percent of the voters have exercised their right in Nalgonda district, seven percent in Hyderabad, eight percent in Rangareddy and five percent in Adilabad.

Security was beefed up at bordering areas which were identified as Left Wing Extremist-affected regions. As many as 446 flying squads were in operation in the state to swing into action if any irregularity was reported and 448 static surveillance teams would also keep a watch on the situation. They would wait in the wings to take action, he said. Besides, 224 video-surveillance teams and 133 video-viewing teams were pressed into service. There were 126 assistant expenditure observers and 123 accounting teams.

Telegu film actors Actors Allu Arjun and Akkineni Nagarjuna cast early vote in Friday's polling exercise. While Allu Arjun was spotted standing in a queue outside booth number 152 in Jubilee Hills area of Hyderabad, Nagarjuna cast his vote along with his wife Amala Akkineni at booth number 151 in the same area.

Voting is yet to begin at the polling station at GHMC Indoor Stadium, Amberpet due to a technical problem, ANI reported. Moreover, EVM malfunctions were also reported at Kukatpalli in Hyderabad. This is the first time VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) are being used in the state.

People queue outside a polling station in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad to cast their votes. ANI

People queue outside a polling station in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad to cast their votes. ANI

BJP President Amit Shah took to Twitter to urge the voters of Telangana to come out and vote in “large numbers”. He specially urged the youth to turn out in huge numbers and participate in the elections.

Polling began in Telangana on Thursday amid tight security to elect a new Assembly. The polling will be held from 7 am to 5 pm in 106 constituencies, while in 13 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected constituencies, the polling will conclude one hour earlier, at 4 pm.

After a high-voltage campaign that saw war of words among contending parties, Telangana is set for Assembly polls on Friday with the Congress-led alliance challenging the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeking to make it a triangular contest.

More than 1.50 lakh polling officials including reserve staff were in the process of giving final touches on Thursday to make the election to the 119-member House a smooth affair.

Over 2.80 crore electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in the state, which has a total of 32,815 polling stations across. Campaigning by political parties came to an end at 5 pm on Wednesday.

Additional DG ( Law and order) Jitender Thursday told PTI that about one lakh police personnel including 25,000 central paramilitary forces and 20,000 from other states are engaged in poll duties.

A senior police official said security was beefed up at bordering areas which were identified as Left Wing Extremist-affected regions.

The Assembly polls in Telangana were originally scheduled to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha 2019 elections, but the House was dissolved on 6 September as per a recommendation by the state cabinet.

It is to be seen if caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's (popularly known as KCR) gamble to opt for early elections pays off.

The Congress has stitched together Prajakutami (People's Front) along with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) to take on the ruling TRS, led by KCR.

The TRS, seeking a second term in office, is going alone, as also the BJP.

While KCR was without doubt the star campaigner for TRS, the Congress and the BJP fielded their bigwigs for campaigning which turned out to be a shrill one.

For the Congress, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the party president Rahul Gandhi addressed election rallies. The BJP relied on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party chief Amit Shah.

Rahul also addressed a joint meetings with TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu. "We will win 100 seats", KCR repeatedly said in campaign meetings.

On Wednesday, he said the Congress-led alliance is confident of winning the elections "hands-down" and claimed that KCR was showing "signs of nervousness and insecurity" in recent campaign meetings he addressed.

The BJP, which won five seats in alliance with the TDP in the 2014 elections, said it ensured that there is a triangular fight in Telangana this time.

"Earlier, when the election season began, it was projected by both the Congress and TRS as if the fight is between them but it was a propaganda," Telangana BJP
spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao told PTI.

Vigorous campaign by BJP's national and state leaders ensured that it has become a "triangular contest where nobody can actually say who is winning and how many seats," Rao said.

Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar in a press conference said, "Some political parties expressed apprehensions that there was distribution of liquor and money in some places. We gave strict instructions to police and other officials to deal such incidents sternly."

"Distribution of voters' slips was done 100 percent," he said.

Polling will start at 7 am and end at 5 pm, while in 13 constituencies which were classified as Left Wing Extremist-affected, polling ends one hour before (4 pm).

As many as 446 flying squads are in operation in the state to swing into action if any irregularity is reported during the elections and 448 static surveillance teams would also keep a watch on the situation and would wait in wings to take action, Kumar said.

Besides, 224 video-surveillance teams and 133 video-viewing teams have been pressed into service. There are 126 assistant expenditure observers and 123 accounting teams.

For the first time, Election Commission is using Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in Telangana.

As many as 1,821 candidates including a transgender person are in fray in the election. Counting of votes would be taken up on 11 December.

Huge sums of unaccounted cash and illegal liquor and other goods were seized since the Model Code of Conduct came into effect on 27 September.

"As per the last count, the total seizures stood at nearly Rs 135 crore including unaccounted cash, illegal liquor and other goods," Rajat Kumar said adding that the total seizures was 90 percent more than that of during 2014 polls.

With inputs from PTI

 


Updated Date: Dec 07, 2018 17:18 PM

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