Updated: April 30, 2021 2:03:42 pm
Polling is underway for two municipal corporations and five municipalities in Telangana. At 1 pm, 45.56 per cent of votes were polled in Khammam Municipal Corporation, and 37.98 per cent in Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation. The Municipalities of Siddipet polled 46.79 per cent, Achampet 51 per cent, Jadcherla 46.67 per cent, Kothur 65.05 per cent, and Nakrekal 65.74 per cent. An average of 51.26 per cent polling was recorded in these seven urban local bodies (ULBs) by 1 pm.
Polling began at 7 am and will continue till 5 pm. Elections are being held using ballot papers. A total of 1,300 candidates are in the fray. As many as 11.59 lakh voters are expected to cast their votes. About 1,539 polling booths have been set up and 676 of them have been identified as sensitive. Additional police forces are deployed here, according to the State Election Commission (SEC). The counting of votes is scheduled for May 3.
Municipal elections in the state are being held in the backdrop of the second wave of Covid-19. The Telangana High Court has repeatedly slammed the SEC for its decision to go ahead with the polls, and even asked if the heavens would fall if the polls were put off. The SEC, however, stuck to its opinion that these elections were confined and restricted to seven urban local bodies. Now, the court has asked the SEC to file a report by May 5.
As many as 263 wards in these municipal bodies are facing polls. Apart from the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation and Khammam Municipal Corporation in Warangal and Khammam districts, elections are underway in the municipalities of Siddipet in Siddipet district, Atchampet in Nagarkurnool district, Nakrekal in Nalgonda district, Jadcherla in Mahabubnagar district, and Kothur in Rangareddy district.
Polling is also being held in four municipal wards that have fallen vacant in municipalities of Gajwel, Nalgonda, Bodhan, and Parkal. One seat that fell vacant in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation is also witnessing polling today.
The SEC has directed elaborate arrangements as part of Covid-19 protocol to hold polls. State Election Commissioner C Partha Sarathi Thursday directed district collectors, police commissioners, municipal commissioners, SPs, and DMHOs to strictly enforce the protocol during polling and counting of votes.
Voters and polling staff are mandated to wear face masks, ensure a six-foot distance, and sanitizers are to be provided at polling booths. There are 6.64 lakh voters in Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation and 2.88 lakh voters in Khammam Municipal Corporation.
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