Current AffairsIndia

Voting begins for GHMC election

Hyderabad: Voting began for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) election here on Tuesday, amid tight security.

The polling which started at 7 am, will end at 6 pm instead of 5 pm earlier. The polling time has been extended by one hour in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As many as 74,44,260 voters including 35,65,896 women, were eligible to exercise their franchise using ballot papers at 9101 polling stations set up in 2937 locations to elect their representatives in the 150-ward GHMC, which consists of four districts -Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medchal–Malkajigiri, and Sangareddy.

Repolling, if any, will be held on December 3 and counting of votes will start from 8 am on December 4 and the results will be declared on the same day.

The highest number of voters are in Mallardevpally ward while the lowest number of voters in Ramanchadrapuram ward.

The highest number of polling stations was in Kondapur ( 99 polling stations) while the lowest number of polling stations of 33 was in Ramchandrapuram ward.

Telangana State Election Commission (SEC) has made elaborate arrangements for a free and fair poll by deploying 48,000 polling personnel (including reserve) and 52,500 strong police force.

In all,1,122 candidates, including the ruling TRS which is the only party, contesting in all the 150 wards in the election.except Nawabsahebkunta ward, BJP too is contesting from remaining 149 wards while the Congress party is contesting in 146 awards except in four wards – Talabchanchalam, Barkas, Golconda and Tolichowki.

TDP is contesting in 106 wards, followed by AIMIM- 51, CPI- 17, CPI-M- 12, other registered parties- 76 and as many as 415 independents are in the fray.

The highest number of 20 candidates are contesting from Jangammet ward, while the lowest number of three candidates each are contesting from Uppal, Barkas, Nawabsahebkunta, Tolichowki and Jeedimetla wards.

State Election Commissioner C Parthasarathi had earlier said it has been decided to conduct the poll with ballot papers after obtaining the views of major political parties and the health department in view of COVID-19 pandemic and considering various relevant issues.

However, the previous GHMC poll in (2016) were too conducted with the ballot papers. However, EVMs were used in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

As many as 28,683 ballot boxes have been used by the civic body by procuring from Andhra Pradesh for the election and about 81.88 lakh ballot papers were printed while 2571 postal ballots were issued for employees.

According to SEC, as many as 1.20 lakh Covid-19 kits procured @ 10 per each polling station including reserve besides 60,000 sanitizer bottles procured @ 5 ( 500ml) per each polling station including reserve.

In compliance with the orders of the Apex court, the SEC has added the “NOTA” symbol in the ballot papers in all the local body elections in the state for the electors, who do not wish to vote for any of the contesting candidates.

During the election campaign, Cash above Rs 1.46 crore was seized by the different enforcement wings, booked 100 cases and registered 99 FIRs for violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

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