After a high-voltage campaign that saw war of words among contending parties, Telangana votes for a new Assembly on Friday with the Congress-led alliance challenging the ruling TRS, and the BJP seeking to make it a triangular contest. Voting has started for 119 seats in the Telangana assembly elections but the start has been marred by glitches in Hyderabad, Pedapalle, Karimnagar and Khammam. There have also been reports of names going missing from electoral rolls. Among those who complained is Badminton player Jwala Gutta, who said she was surprised to see my name disappear from the voting list after checking online.
Over 2.80 crore electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in the State, which has a total of 32,815 polling stations across. Campaigning by political parties came to an end at 5 pm Wednesday. Additional DG (Law and order) Jitender Thursday said about one lakh police personnel including 25,000 central paramilitary forces and 20,000 from other states are engaged in poll duties.
The assembly polls in Telangana were originally scheduled to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections next year, but the House was dissolved on September 6 as per a recommendation by the state cabinet. It is to be seen if KCR’s gamble to opt for early elections pays off. The Congress has stitched together “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, led by caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR). The TRS, seeking a second term in office, is going alone, as also the BJP.