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Telangana parliamentary elections live | Voters oppose merger of polling booths

Telangana recorded 60.57% voting till 5 p.m. across 17 Lok Sabha constituencies of the State where former Union Minister Renuka Chowdhury and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi are among prominent candidates in the fray.

Medak recorded highest number of voter turnout with 68.60% while Secunderabad from where senior BJP leader Kishan Reddy registered just 39.20% polling till 5 p.m.

In 13 Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-effected Assembly segments under five parliamentary constituencies polling is being held from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In Nizamabad, voting began from 8 a.m., as planned, as mock polling took more time compared to other constituencies in view of the large number of candidates and EVMs.

Perhaps for the first time in the history of Indian elections, 12 EVMs are being used in each booth in Nizamabad, where 185 candidates, including more than 170 farmers, are contesting.

In Nizamabad constituency, 177 farmers are contesting against Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha. The farmers have deployed only one polling agent on their behalf. This, the farmers claim, is in itself a big achievement as they faced threats from ruling TRS and those who offered themselves as agents backed out in the last minute. The polling was slow as the voters took time to identify candidates of their choice on the EVMs. This led to long queues outside.

Here are the live updates:

6:50 pm | Hyderabad

Over 60% polling till 5 p.m.

Telangana recorded 60.57% voting till 5 p.m. across 17 Lok Sabha constituencies. Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar had earlier said those who stood in queue at 5 p.m. will also be allowed to vote.

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao, K. Kavitha and Asaduddin Owaisi and film actors Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan, Allu Arjun, junior NTR and ‘Baahubali’ director S.S. Rajamouli were among the prominent people who cast their vote in their respective constituencies.

Mr. Rao, along with his wife, cast his vote in Chintamadaka village in Siddipet district.

“Polling process is going on peacefully across Telangana,” Mr. Rajat Kumar said earlier in the day.

A polling booth in Teeleru Village in Narayanpet district where ten women labourers were buried alive when loose soil and boulders fell on them on April 10, wore a deserted look, according to reports.

A senior Narayanpet district official told PTI that there was lukewarm response for polling in Teeleru.

Key candidates in the fray include Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president and Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha, Renuka Chowdhury, State Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy, Congress working president Revanth Reddy and Asaduddin Owaisi.

Telangana BJP chief spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao alleged that the Election Commission has fallen short of expectations in conduct of elections in Telangana.

“In Telangana, there are several instances of EVMs not working,” he claimed.

Teams deployed to fix the EVMs when they were not functional should have been technically more efficient, Mr. Rao said, adding, at many places, even though there were three EVMs in a booth, only one or two were functioning.

“They should have been technically more prepared,” he said.

Apollo Hospitals Group executive vice-chairperson Shobana Kamineni on Thursday said her name was missing in the voters’ list and described it as “worst day as an Indian citizen”.

Mr. Rajat Kumar said as per the information he received from Narayanpet District Collector large number of people are participating in the funeral of the deceased and polling is expected to pick up momentum later.

The official said 1.51% of ballot units, 1.71% of control units and 2.21% of VVPATs were replaced during the mock polling before beginning of the actual polls in the morning.

Polling in 16 constituencies began at 7 a.m., while voting process in Nizamabad started an hour later.

Over 2.97 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the State, where 443 candidates are in the fray.

In 13 Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-effected Assembly segments under five parliamentary constituencies polling is being held from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Election Conmmission has installed flex banners outside the polling booths in Nizamabad constituency to help voters. As many as 185 candidates are contesting from this Telangana parliamentary seat.

The Election Conmmission has installed flex banners outside the polling booths in Nizamabad constituency to help voters. As many as 185 candidates are contesting from this Telangana parliamentary seat.
 
| Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal


 

In Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency, where 185 candidates, including more than 170 farmers, are in the fray, voting began from 8 a.m., as planned, as mock polling took more time compared to other constituencies in view of the large number of candidates and EVMs.

The contesting farmers are seeking to highlight their demand for remunerative price to turmeric and red jowar, and setting up of a turmeric board based in Nizamabad.

Nizamabad witnessed 54.20% voter turnout till 5 p.m.

As many as 145 companies of central paramilitary forces, besides over 55,000 State police have been deployed for security arrangements in the State. — PTI

6:50 pm | Hyderabad

Polling percentage (provisional) at 5 p.m.

Voter turnout

No. Parliamentary constituency name % @ 5 p.m.
1. Adilabad (ST) 66.76
2. Peddapalle (SC) 59.24
3. Karimnagar 68.00
4. Nizamabad 54.20
5. Zaheerabad 67.80
6. Medak 68.60
7. Malkajgiri 42.75
8. Secunderabad 39.20
9. Hyderabad 39.49
10. Chevella 53.80
11. Mahabubnagar 64.99
12. Nagarkurnool (SC) 57.12
13. Nalgonda 66.11
14. Bhongir 68.25
15. Warangal (SC) 60.00
16. Mahabubabad 59.90
17. Khammam 67.96

State turnout

60.57

 

In Khammam, an estimated 67.92% of the electorate — around 10,27,735 voters of the total 15,13,094 electors — exercised their franchise.

An average 68.25% polling was recorded in Bhongir. Alair (75.25%), Munugode (72.50%) and Bhongir (70.05%) are segments with maximum polling.
An average 66.11% polling was recorded in Nalgonda till 5 p.m. None of the seven segments registered more than 70% polling. Nalgonda Assembly segment recorded the least with 62.10% polling.

M. Rajeev reports

6:30 pm | Hyderabad

EVMs security should be assigned to Army or CRPF: Telangana Congress

The Congress in Telangana demanded that security of strong rooms, where Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in the Lok Sabha polls are kept, be assigned either to the Army or CRPF.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy asked the Election Commission to look into the need for special security measures at all strong rooms across Telangana.

“Since the votes will be counted on May 23, 2019, i.e., after 42 days, special measures are needed to ensure that EVMs remain safe, untouched and inaccessible from all kinds of tampering or manipulation,” he said.

Mr. Reddy claimed that serious allegations of EVM tampering or manipulation were levelled during the Legislative Assembly elections held in December last.

EVMs are arranged at a polling station in Nizamabad constituency where 177 turmeric and red jowar farmers are contesting against Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha.

EVMs are arranged at a polling station in Nizamabad constituency where 177 turmeric and red jowar farmers are contesting against Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha.  
| Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal


 

He demanded that the responsibility of security of strong rooms be assigned to the Army or CRPF.

Local police should be prohibited to access the strong rooms, the Congress leader said.

Their role must be confined to providing basic logistic support.

He also sought permission to the recognised political parties to deploy their cadre at strong rooms for vigilance.

Mr. Reddy demanded that high-security network jammers be installed around all strong rooms to protect them from “possible wireless hacking of EVMs.”

“CCTV footage of all booths of polling day and also the footage to be recorded at strong rooms till counting day must be preserved. All spare EVMs, which were not used in polling, should be either sent to other States for next phases of polling or sealed,” he said. — PTI

5:10 pm

Polling ends in Telangana, except for Nizamabad

Polling for the 16 Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana concluded at 5 p.m., the deadline fixed by the Election Commission of India. Voting is, however, continuing in Nizamabad where the deadline is 6 p.m.

Polling hours in Nizamabad were changed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. owing to the time consumed in completing the mock poll. The election process so far has been peaceful with no major incidents reported from any of the constituencies.
Officials are handing over slips to those standing in the queues at the polling stations starting from the last man so that all those in the queue at the closing hour get an opportunity to vote.

M. Rajeev reports

4:20 pm

Polling concludes in Sirpur, Asifabad, Chennur, Bellampally, Mancherial, Manthani, Bhupalpalle, Mulugu, Pinapaka, Yellandu, Bhadrachalam, Kothagudem and Aswaraopet assembly segments.

These segments have been identified as Left Wing Extremist-hit constituencies.

3:30 pm

Polling picked up in several constituencies between 1 pm and 3 pm with Zaheerabad registering 63.39 per cent and Medak 62.5 per cent.

Other constituencies such as Nalgonda (58.21%), Karimnagar (58.1%),  Bhongir (57.41%), Adilabad (57.04%), Mahbubabad (55.24%), Khammam (54.8%) and Peddapalle (54.83%) too crossed the 50 per cent mark.

But polling remained sluggish in Hyderabad (27.79%), Secunderabad (30.2%) and Malkajgiri (36.39%).

Chevella, where the polling was initially low however picked up subsequently and crossed 40% by 3 pm.

3:10 pm

Teeleru mourns

A polling station at Teeleru village of Narayanpet district in Telangana wears a deserted look.

A polling station at Teeleru village of Narayanpet district in Telangana wears a deserted look.  
| Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna


 

The polling station in Teeleru village of Marikal mandal in Narayanpet district is wearing a deserted look with hardly anyone exercising their franchise.

Just a day before polling, 10 women labourers were buried alive when loose soil and boulders fell on them while they were taking rest after working at an agricultural field in the village.

3:00 pm

Polling at Kacharam in Kamareddy district has been stopped for one hour due to technical snag.

2:30 pm

Nalgonda parliamentary constituency is sizzling at 41.8 degrees Celsius. The constituency has polled 42.09% till 1 pm.

Karimnagar parliament constituency reported 45.62 per cent polling and Peddapalli parliament constituency recorded 47  per cent polling till 1 PM.

Medak registers highest 54 per cent polling while voting in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Malkajgiri continues to be sluggish. At 1 pm, Hyderabad poll percentage is 20.59% and Secunderabad  recorded 23.85%.

The overall polling percentage reaches 38.30 by 1 pm.

2:15 pm

Nizamabad polls 38.10% till 1 p.m.

Nomula Mohan Reddy, a farmer candidate contesting from Nizamabad.

Nomula Mohan Reddy, a farmer candidate contesting from Nizamabad.  
| Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal


 

Nizamabad constituency has the maximum number of candidates contesting. Despite the scorching sun, 38.10% of votes have been polled till 1 pm.

Voters, especially from rural areas, are finding it difficult to locate their choice of candidate among 185 names. Over 170 farmers are contesting the poll from this constituency to press for a Turmeric Board and better environment for farming.

On the polling day, Nomula Mohan Reddy, a farmer- candidate, and his wife leisurely went to cast his vote and returned home for lunch. The couple live at Vannel (B) village in Balkonda mandal. He says he will return to his tomato fields later in the day. Reddy did not take up any campaign but expects to poll 50 to 60 votes. – Ram Mohan

 

1:10 pm

Election officials call for explanation regarding Shobana Kamineni’s issue

The State election authority, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, has sought an explanation from the booth level officer concerned on the deletion of the name of Shobana Kamineni of Apollo Group.

Initial inquires by the officials revealed that Ms. Kamineni had two EPIC numbers in the polling station no. 49 of the Nampally assembly constituency since 2017. Election officials noticed this as part of the summary revision of electoral rolls.

Though one of the entries was supposed to be deleted as part of the de-duplication process, both the entries had been deleted, according to sources. Senior officials have accordingly sought an explanation from the official concerned so that necessary remedial action could be initiated.

1:00 pm

Performance of equipment satisfactory: CEO

The performance of the election equipment — the ballot units, control unit and voter verifiaible paper audit trail machines — has been satisfactory across the State. Unlike the previous Assembly elections when there was more than 7% failure of the VVPAT machines, the rate this time around was 2.21% during the mock poll conducted early this morning.

The replacement rate of ballot units was 1.51% and that of the control units was 1.71%, according to Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar.  “Overall, the performance of the machines has been satisfactory,” he said. The election authorities are utilising over 77,365 BUs, 41.051 CUs and 43,894 VVPAT machines across the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies.

12:30 pm

Hyderabad voter uploads video from polling booth

A voter in Hyderabad has landed in trouble after he uploaded a video of him voting onto Facebook. The EVM and VVPAT can be seen in the video clip that he shared.

12:00 noon

Slow polling in first two hours

Polling was rather slow in the first two hours since voting started in the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies across Telangana.

The polling percentage did not cross 15 during the first two hours in any constituency contrary to expectations that people would come to vote early in view of the scorching summer heat. Mahabubnagar registered maximum 15 per cent polling followed by Mahabubabad (14.5), Pedapalli (14), Zaheerabad (13.82) and Bhongir (13). While Hyderabad registered 6.34% voting in the first two hours, it was just 4.52% in Secunderabad.

Nizamabad where voting started an hour behind schedule registered 3.6% polling in the first hour. The slow pace of polling was attributed to the complaints of non-functioning of the EVMs at several places even as Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar asserted that the complaints were being attended to at the earliest. The polling is by-and-large peaceful across the State barring reports that farmers in some villages, particularly in Nizamabad, boycotted the election.

10:40 am | Hyderbad

Name missing from voters’ list: Shobana Kamineni

Former Confederation of Indian Industry president Shobana Kamineni was caught unaware as her name was found to have been removed from the voters’ list in Hyderabad. She is the daughter of Prathap C. Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals Groups.

 

“This is the worst day for me as an Indian citizen,” a visibly agitated Ms. Kamineni said in a video. “I was travelling abroad, but I came back because I wanted to exercise my franchise and I am told at the booth that my vote is deleted,” she said. She added that she had voted in the Assembly elections in December 2018 from the same booth.

10:15 am | Mahabubabad

3 voters hospitalised after a honeybee stings them

Polling stopped as EVM in Datla village of Dantalpally mandal breaks down.

Three voters suffer honeybee sting in Chinna Yellapur village of Mahabubabad district. Victims shifted to Narsampet area hospital.

Voters of Bastigudem villae in Venkatapuram mandal of Mulug district boycott polls protesting delay in redressal of land issues in the village.

Voting has been delayed at the polling station in the remote C. Kathigudem village of Charla mandal in the predominantly tribal-populated Bhadradri Kothagudem district after villagers threatened to boycott the polls en masse in protest for their pending grievances.

The polling began following the intervention of the local revenue officials who persuaded them to participate in voting by assuring to resolve their grievances after elections.

9:50 am | Hyderabad

Vote for our future: Jwala Gutta

“Had a mini scare..but finally found our names..we voted..did u??,” wrote Arjuna Award-winning badminton player Jwala Gutta on Twitter.

Jwala Gutta with her family


 

During the 2018 Telangana assembly elections, the Hyderbad-resident had found her name missing on the voters list. “Surprised to see my name disappear from the voting list after checking online,” she had shared on Twitter. Ms. Gutta wondered how the elections could be termed “fair” when names were disappearing for the voters list. Many fellow Hyderabadis retweeted and replied their experience with missing names.

9:15 am | Karimnagar

Polling starts on a dull note

Polling started on a dull note in various parts of Karimnagar and Peddapalli Parliament constituencies of the integrated Karimnagar district on Thursday.

There was thin attendance of voters at all the polling stations in the district in the early hours of polling. Though the authorities have claimed that they have distributed voter slips to the voters, majority of voters had abstained from voting reportedly due to non-distribution of voting slips. Some voters have arrived at the polling station to check their names, but in vain.

The polling was delayed for some hours in some towns following  technical snags in the EVMs. The engineers rushed to the spot and rectifying the problems. Karimnagar MP B. Vinod Kumar along with his family members exercised his franchise at the Government Urdu Medium High School in Karimnagar town. BJP contestant Bandi Sanjay Kumar cast his vote at a polling station in Chaitanyapuri colony in the town.

Villagers of Bandampalli in Peddapalli mandal have boycotted the polling opposing the merger of their village with the Peddapalli municipal town. Even after pleading the voters to cast their votes, they remained indoors and refused to cast their votes. The officials informed the same to the higher authorities about the villagers boycotting the polls. Polling process was going on smoothly in the naxalite affected villages of Manthani Assembly segment abutting the bordering Chhattisgarh state.

K.M. Dayashanker reports

9:05 am | Peddapalli

Voters oppose merger of polling booths

Villagers of Bandampalli boycott polling to register their opposition to the merger of their village with Peddapalli municipal town in Peddapalli district.

Similarly, villagers of Ayyurpalli boycott polls to mark their protest against the merger of their village with Vemulawada town in Rajanna Sircilla district.

EVM issues reported

Voters at one of the polling stations in Government High School at Jakranpally were turned away at one of the booths as the EVMs did not function. At the moment, the voters are waiting outside for electiion authorities to rectify the non-functional EVMs.

The issue was not isolated to Jakranpalli — EVMs at a couple of centers in Nizamabad and in Yellareddy and Peddakodapagal in Zaheerabad Parliamentary constituencies were reportedly non-functional for 30 minutes, before the technical staff sorted out the problem.

Voters at a polling booth in Jakranpally wait outside for the election authorities to rectify non-functional EVMs.

Voters at a polling booth in Jakranpally wait outside for the election authorities to rectify non-functional EVMs.
 
| Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal


 

9:00 am | Sangareddy

Polling delayed in some booths in Sangareddy

Polling commenced with an enthusiastic note at several polling stations in Sangareddy district. At some polling station EVMs reported error delaying the polling process for about half an hour.

A large number of people are arriving at polling stations to caste their vote and enquiring with agents where their vote is. Many of the voters reached polling stations with Aadhaar cards.

Those who could not get voter slips are showing the voter details in cell phones to cast their votes.

8:50 am

Mock polling completed

Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar said that mock polling has been completed in all constituencies and there were no problems detected in the functioning of the equipment. Arrangements have been put in place to replace the machines if there was any trouble in their functioning.

8:40 am

Polling peaceful in Telangana

Polling started peacefully in 16 of the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies across Telangana at 7 am.

Voting will start in Nizamabad at 8 am after completion of mock polling. The constituency has a record 185 contestants and the Election Commission is conducting polls through EVMs for such large number of candidates.

As many as 443 candidates are in the fray in 17 constituencies and 2.96 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the elections through 34,604 polling stations. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his wife are expected to exercise their franchise at Chintamadaka in Gajwel around 10.30 am.

Reports from the districts indicated that polling at two polling booths in Tara Degree College, Sangareddy was delayed by 20 minutes as error occurred in EVMs.

8:00 am

Glimpses from voting across the State

District control room monitoring sectoral officers and webcasting in Telangana on Wednesday

District control room monitoring sectoral officers and webcasting in Telangana on Wednesday
 
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


 

A woman police help an elderly woman to a polling station at Sangareddy, Telangana

A woman police help an elderly woman to a polling station at Sangareddy, Telangana
 
| Photo Credit: Mohd Arif


 

7:00 am | Peddapalli

High alert in Manthani, Peddapalli

The police have sounded high alert in the erstwhile naxalite stronghold of Manthani and Peddapalli Assembly segments for the elections to Peddapalli parliamentary constituency after the Maoists killed a BJP legislator and four security personnel by triggering a landmine in Dantewada region of neighbouring Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.

Incidentally, there was no naxalite movement in the region for the past several years. However, the fresh incident of triggering a landmine in the adjoining State abutting the forests of Mahadevpur mandal in Manthani Assembly segment has become a cause for concern for the police personnel for the peaceful conduct of elections in the forest dominated Manthani and some parts of Peddapalli Assembly segment.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Source: thehindu.com

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