Telangana records 73.2% voter turnout; Election Commission says 'following protocol' delayed final figures

The Election Commission on Saturday announced that 73.20 percent polling was registered in the Telangana Assembly elections on Friday. The announcement came more than 24 hours after polling ended in all 119 constituencies.

FP Staff December 09, 2018 15:58:20 IST
Telangana records 73.2% voter turnout; Election Commission says 'following protocol' delayed final figures

Hyderabad: The Election Commission on Saturday announced that 73.20 percent polling was registered in the Telangana Assembly elections on Friday. The announcement came more than 24 hours after polling ended in all 119 constituencies.

Suspense continued throughout the day over the final figure of voter turnout.

Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Dr Rajath Kumar had stated late Friday that 67 percent polling was recorded at 5 pm. Since those standing in queues were allowed to vote even after 5 pm, and this process continued for four to five hours in some polling centres, the final figure was estimated at 69.1 percent.

Over 2.8 crore people were eligible to vote in Telangana.

Telangana records 732 voter turnout Election Commission says following protocol delayed final figures

Young voters from Charminar constituency, an MIM bastion, cast their votes. Image courtesy: Syed Maqsood/101Reporters

At a press conference, Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Dr Rajat Kumar has expressed happiness at this "healthy voting" trend and said the increased turnout of the voters was due to the sustained campaign undertaken to create awareness among citizens to exercise their franchise as a duty.

However, he lamented that urban areas, particularly Hyderabad, witnessed a low turnout of voters, saying that this was due to the apathy of urban voters who were educated.

According to the Election Commission, among 31 districts, Yadadri Bhongir recorded the highest turnout of 90.95 percent. Hyderabad recorded lowest turnout of 48.89 percent. This was earlier estimated at 50 percent. Most constituencies around Hyderabad also recorded low turnout of 50 to 55 percent.

The rural areas recorded heavy polling, with many constituencies witnessing over 80 percent turnout.

According to reports received till Friday evening, Madhira constituency in Khammam district registered the highest turnout of 91.65 percent. The lowest 40.18 percent was recorded in Charminar constituency in Hyderabad.

On the late announcement of the overall voter turnout, the Chief Electoral Officer said the delay was due to various procedures and protocols polling officials had to follow. All presiding officers at booths completed submitting their required reports shortly before 3.40 am, Kumar said, adding that it took at least five hours to follow protocol after the EVMs and VVPATs reached the headquarters.

Returning Officers also had to fill as many as 75 columns in the prescribed form for submission, he said. Kumar added that some documents of Presiding Officers in Karwan Assembly Constituency were found to have been "misplaced", not missing, but ruled out the need for a re-poll.

This was the first Assembly elections in India's youngest state. The previous elections were held in united Andhra Pradesh in 2014, and Telangana had recorded a turnout of 68.9 percent.

Counting of votes will be taken up on 11 December.

With inputs from IANS

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