In the midst of elaborate preparations, voting in all 119 Telangana Assembly constituencies began on Thursday morning. After six o’clock in the evening, voting will conclude.
Of the 2,290 candidates from 109 national and regional parties seeking office, 221 are women and one is transgender. Their destiny will be decided by 3.17 crore voters combined. Of the 103 lawmakers who are standing for reelection in this election, most are members of the ruling Bharat Rasthra Samithi (BRS).
Voters would exercise their franchise at 35,655 polling stations set up across the state.
For the first time in Telangana, a home voting facility is being provided to persons with disabilities and voters above 80 years of age.
Home voting for citizens aged over 80 years and persons with disabilities has also been made available, with about 27,600 voters enlisted to avail of the service on Thursday. About 1,000 other voters have also registered for the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System.
Earlier, Chief Electoral Officer for the state, Vikas Raj, on Wednesday, said that about 12,000 critical polling stations have been identified in the state where additional forces will be deployed, and more than 2.5 lakh staff will be engaged in poll duties.
“A total of 35,655 polling stations have been put together in Telangana. Also, conforming to the instructions of the Election Commission, we have arranged model polling stations and all-women polling stations. All necessary arrangements have been made to ensure hassle-free polling tomorrow,” the chief electoral officer said while speaking to ANI.
“We have also identified about 12,000 critical polling stations for which we have arranged the deployment of additional forces. Apart from central forces, there will also be micro-observers to ensure free and fair polling in the state. Areas declared as Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected will see the deployment of central forces in addition to state forces,” he added.