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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Telangana Assembly election: Polling underway; PM Modi urges electorate to vote in record numbers

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Hyderabad: Polling has begun in all the 119 Assembly constituencies in Telangana on Thursday, amid tight security arrangements.

The polling which started at 7 am will end at 5 pm in 106 constituencies and in 13 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas it will be from 7 am to 4 pm.

The 13 constituencies are Sirpur, Chennur, Bellampalli, Mancherial, Asifabad, Manthani, Bhupalapally, Mulugu, Pinapaka, Yellandu, Kothagudem, Aswaraopet, and Bhadrachalam.

The voters will exercise their franchise in 35,655 polling stations set up across the State.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a post on X (formerly twitter) said, ‘I call upon my sisters and brothers of Telangana to vote in record numbers and strengthen the festival of democracy. I particularly urge young and first time voters to exercise their franchise’.

BRS MLC K Kavitha and daughter of KCR cast her vote in Banjara Hills here . She urged all eligible voters to cast votes.

The state is witnessing a triangular contest involving the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Congress.

There are as many as 2,290 contestants, including 221 women in the fray which includes Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, his Minister-son K.T. Rama Rao, and TPCC President A. Revanth Reddy.

KCR is contesting from two constituencies– Gajwel and Kamareddy. He won from Gajwel in the 2018 Assembly election.

The BRS has fielded candidates in all 119 seats. While, as per the seat-sharing agreement, BJP and actor Pawan Kalyan-headed Jana Sena Party are contesting in 111 and eight seats respectively, while Congress has given one seat to its ally CPI, and fighting from 118 others.

Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM has put up candidates from nine seats.

The state has a total of 3,26,02,799 voters, comprising 1,62,98,418 men, 1,63,01,705 women, and 2,676 transgenders. There are 15,406 service voters and 2,944 NRI voters.

The number of voters in the age group of 18-19 is 9,99,667.

More than 2 lakh personnel are on poll duty. These include 22,000 micro observers, who will monitor the polling process.

Webcasting was arranged at 27,094 centres across the state.

Counting of votes will be taken up on December 3.

Section 144 has been imposed across the State till the end of polling to ensure the smooth conduct of the election.

The BRS is keen on extending its winning run that started in 2014, while the Congress has put up a spirited fight to win the polls having tasted defeat in 2018 and four year earlier, when the previous UPA government granted statehood to Telangana. The BJP has also left no stone unturned to come to power for the first time in the southern state.

A total of 45,000 personnel from state, 50 companies of Telangana State Special Police (TSSP) and 375 companies of the central paramilitary forces have been deployed as part of the massive security arrangements to ensure free and fair poll.

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