The elections to the Telangana urban local bodies on Wednesday is set to be a three-cornered contest between Congress, TRS, and BJP. The most number of candidates has been fielded by TRS, with 2,972 in the fray. Congress has fielded 2,616 candidates, whereas BJP has fielded 2,313 candidates. TDP has its candidates in 347 wards, followed by MIM candidates in 276 wards. CPI and CPM have 177 and 166 candidates each.
While YSR Congress has not fielded a single candidate, as many as 282 other candidates represent recognized state parties in other states and other registered political parties with the Telangana state election commission. As many as 3,749 candidates are independents.
State Election Commissioner V Nagi Reddy said Tuesday Rs 44.4 lakh in cash and Rs 16.25 lakh worth of liquor and other materials had been seized from across the state. Maintaining that the SEC had zero tolerance towards impersonation, Reddy advised voters not to worry if they found their votes were cast by someone else.
“Where ever we get tender votes, we will have re-polling there,” he said. Over 53 lakh voters in Telangana will decide the fate of a total of 12,898 candidates who are in the fray for as many as 2,972 wards in 120 municipalities and nine municipal corporations. Another 58 wards in Karimnagar municipal corporations will poll on January 24.
For the first time, a facial recognition app for real-time authentication of voters would be used in 10 polling stations of the Kompally Municipality of Medchal Malkajgiri district.
Reddy also assured that the election process would go on smoothly in Bhainsa municipality, which had witnessed clashes between two communities recently. On reports of money and liquor being used to influence voters, Reddy asked the people to remain vigilant.
Citing the example of a ward in Peddapalli district, where videos of distribution of money have emerged, Reddy said police had initiated action on the basis of video evidence.
According to the SEC, out of 7961 polling stations, 2,072 would be under video coverage and another 2,406 would be under live webcasting. Micro observers will cover another 2,053 booths. A total of 50,000 security personnel will be on the ground. 285 flying squads and 360 static surveillance teams (SST) will also be deployed.
A total of 80 wards in all municipalities and three wards in all 10 municipal corporations, including Karimnagar, have been won by candidates unanimously.
Special forces like Telangana State Special Police and other specialiced forces have also been kept on standby. Special arrangements have also been made for Left-Wing Extremist districts, police said. Police also said 131 FIRs had been registered against persons and political workers for violence or MCC violations.
An amount of Rs 51,36,090 and liquor worth Rs 21,22,933 have also been seized by the police. Police also said 1,122 cases have been registered under preventive sections of law against 4,969 persons while 1,745 licensed weapons were deposited as a preventive measure.
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