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Polling underway in Telangana

Press Trust of India  |  Hyderabad 

Polling was underway amid elaborate arrangements in all 119 Assembly constituencies in Telangana on Friday.

Voting began at 7 am and will conclude at 5 pm, except in 13 constituencies classified as Left Wing Extremist-affected, where the process ends at 4 pm itself.

Over 2.80 crore electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in the state, which has a total of 32,815 polling stations. More than 1.50 lakh polling officials, including reserve staff, are on duty.

Campaigning by political parties came to an end at 5 pm Wednesday.

Additional DG ( Law and order) Jitender Thursday told that about one lakh security personnel, including 25,000 central paramilitary forces and 20,000 from other states, are engaged in poll duties.

A said security was beefed up at bordering areas which were identified as Left Wing Extremist-affected regions.

The Assembly polls in Telangana were originally scheduled to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections next year, but the House was dissolved prematurely on September 6 as per a recommendation by the state cabinet.

The has stitched together the 'Prajakutami' (People's Front) along with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) and the (CPI), to take on the ruling TRS, which is led by caretaker K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR).

The TRS, seeking a second term in office, is going alone, as also the BJP.

It is to be seen if TRS president and Caretaker K Chandrasekhar Rao's gamble to opt for early elections pays off.

While KCR was without doubt the star for TRS, the and the BJP fielded their bigwigs for campaigning which turned out to be a shrill one.

For the Congress, and addressed election rallies. The BJP relied on and the

also addressed joint meetings with chief and Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu.

"We will win 100 seats," Rao repeatedly said in campaign meetings.

said Wednesday the Congress-led alliance is confident of winning the elections "hands-down" and claimed that the KCR was showing "signs of nervousness and insecurity" in recent campaign rallies he addressed.

The BJP, which won five seats in alliance with the in the last elections in 2014, said it ensured that there is a triangular fight in Telangana this time.

Meanwhile, (CEO) Thursday said as many as 446 flying squads were in operation in the state to swing into action if any irregularity was reported and 448 static surveillance teams would also keep a watch on the situation. They would wait in the wings to take action, he said.

Besides, 224 video-surveillance teams and 133 video-viewing teams were pressed into service. There were 126 expenditure observers and 123 accounting teams.

For the first time, the is using (VVPAT) in Telangana.

As many as 1821 candidates, including a transgender, are in fray. Counting of votes would be taken up on December 11.

Huge sums of unaccounted cash and illegal liquor and other goods were seized since the Model Code of Conduct came into effect on September 27.

The stood at nearly Rs 135 crore, including unaccounted cash, illegal liquor and other goods, Kumar said Thursday, adding that the were 90 per cent more than that of the 2014 polls.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 07 2018. 07:40 IST