Assembly by-polls in Telangana region Tuesday

July 26th, 2010 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, July 26 (IANS) By-elections to 12 assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh’s Telangana region will be held Tuesday that will see ballot papers being used in five constituencies after many years.
About 23.60 lakh voters, nearly half of them women, are eligible to cast their votes at 2,783 polling stations in the constituencies spread over five districts.

As many as 435 candidates are in the fray for the by-elections, which are being fought on the issue of separate statehood to Telangana region.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) I.V. Subba Rao told reporters Monday that all efforts were being made to ensure free and fair polls.

Election authorities have deployed 68,000 security personnel to maintain law and order while 15,000 employees have been drafted for poll duty.

The mass resignations of all 10 legislators of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and one each of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on the issue of separate Telangana necessitated the by-elections.

For the first time in many years, the poll authorities will be using ballot papers in five constituencies since more than 64 candidates are in the fray. Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be deployed in the remaining segments.

TRS, whose demand for use of ballot papers in all constituencies was rejected by the Election Commission, made many independents file nominations to force the panel to use ballot paper. The EVMs cannot contain so many names. However, the nominations of many independents were either rejected or they withdrew from the contest in seven constituencies.

Poll authorities have printed 20 lakh ballot papers and 1,500 ballot boxes. Due to incessant rains in the region, the authorities have supplied poll material to remote villages by helicopters.

TRS appears to be ahead in the three-cornered contest in at least 10 constituencies. All the 10 legislators of the party, who quit for Telangana, are contesting again. The party is supporting the BJP in Nizamabad Urban where the ruling Congress has fielded its state unit chief D. Srinivas.

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