Polling underway for Telangana local body elections

Polling was underway for the third and final phase of the rural local body elections in Telangana on Tuesday.

Voters exercised their franchise for 161 Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTCs) and 1,708 Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTCs). Elections to 30 other MPTCs were unanimous.

According to State Election Commission officials, polling began amid tight security at 9,494 polling stations at 7 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m. The polling in 205 MPTCs in Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected areas will conclude at 4 p.m.

A little over 46.64 lakh voters are eligible to vote in the final phase to decide the political fortunes of 5,726 candidates in MPTC and 741 candidates in ZPTC polls. An average of three candidates are in fray for every MPTC and five for every ZPTC.

The first and second phases of elections to the two upper tiers of local bodies were held on May 6 and 10. A total of 1.56 crore voters are eligible to vote in all three phases of polling conducted through ballot.

The State Election Commission is holding the polls for 5,817 MPTCs and 539 ZPTCs across the state. The counting of votes will be taken up on May 27.

Following the landslide victory in Assembly elections held in December and sweeping gram panchayat polls in January, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is aiming at another electoral sweep.

The party is also confident of making a sweep of the Lok Sabha seats.

Elections to ZPTCs and MPTCs are being held for the first time since the formation of Telangana in 2014.

The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other opposition parties have also fielded their candidates in ZPTC and MPTC polls.