Around 68.4% cast vote in Telangana

KCR confident of returning to power

TRS president and caretaker chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) casting his vote at his native village of Chintamadaka in Siddipet district, Telangana.

Barring sporadic incidents of minor clashes, polling in Telangana concluded on Friday.

The state witnessed a moderate turnout of 68.4% (by 5 pm) in the elections to its Assembly.

The percentage of polling might go up slightly, as the Election Commission has permitted voters, who were already in queue at the time of closure of polling hours, to cast their votes.

With a lukewarm response from city dwellers, Hyderabad recorded a very poor turnout— 56%, the turnout percentage has been almost the same as the 2014 elections.

Medak recorded the highest polling percentage of over 77%.

The 13 Assembly constituencies which are identified as sensitive, as they are in close proximity to Maoist-affected areas of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, the polling closed at 4 pm.

As per the tentative estimates, these 13 constituencies recorded 65-70% polling till the closing hours.

“Polling went on peacefully without any law and order problem in these constituencies. We shall take all precautions till the Electronic Voting Machines and other equipment reaches the strongrooms safely," M Mahender Reddy, director general of police, said.

TRS president and caretaker chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR)after casting his vote at his native village of Chintamadaka in Siddipet district in the afternoon, expressed confidence that his party will come return to power with a huge majority.

“The mood of the people is very positive towards the TRS and we shall win hands down,” KCR said.

Pradesh Congress Committee president N Uttam Kumar Reddy said that "Maha Kootami" was going to form the next government in Telangana.

“According to the inputs we have received, we shall get 80 seats,” he claimed in the evening.

In Amangal of Kalwakurthy constituency, some BJP workers reportedly pelted stones at Congress candidate C h Vamsichand Reddy.

An injured Reddy was shifted to Hyderabad for treatment.

At Indiranagar police station in Hyderabad, there was a clash between BJP agent and TRS workers, when the former objected to former minister and TRS candidate from Khairatabad Danam Nagender coming to Indiranagar polling station wearing a pink scarf, symbolizing the TRS.

BJP candidate C h Ramachandra Reddy lodged a complaint with the election commission and the police against the TRS leaders.

At Vellatur village of Huzurnagar constituency represented by Telangana PCC chief Capt N Uttam Kumar Reddy, voters roughed up a poling official who forced a disabled voter to exercise his vote to a party against his will.

The official admitted to have cast five votes in the name of helping elderly and disabled voters.

At Tirumalagiri of Tungaturthi constituency, the voters expressed anger at the presiding officer for locking the polling booth in the afternoon for lunch.

They alerted higher officials who rushed to the spot and opened the polling station.

Apart from the issue of faulty EVMs, which delayed voting by up to two hours in several polling stations, there were complaints of missing names of voters at several places.

Ace badminton player Jwala Gutta also fumed at the authorities after finding that her name was missing in the electoral list.

At several places, people whose names were missing from the voters’ list protested at the polling stations.

In Kamareddy district, about 300 people sat on the road, holding up their voter ID cards to register their protest.

In Khairtabad constituency, too, more than 100 voters protested at the polling station after their names were not found in the voters’ list.

70-year old singer and former Maoist ideologue balladeer Gaddar exercised his franchise for the first time.

He got himself registered as a voter in April last.

After casting his vote at Venkatapuram, Gaddar said that vote was also a powerful weapon to bring about a change in the society.

“It can herald a new revolution in the country,” he said.

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