By-election ballot: Munugode records 41.3 pc polling by 1 pm

Munugode, where the polling for the Assembly by-election was underway, recorded 41.30 percent of voting by 1 pm

By-election Ballot (TOI Hyderabad)

MUNUGODE: Munugode, where the polling for the Assembly by-election was underway, recorded 41.30 percent of voting by 1 pm on Thursday. The polling trends indicate enthusiastic turnout of the electorate at the polling stations since this morning. Though not brisk, the turnout till afternoon was still seen as encouraging, prompting all the major political stake-holders to draw inferences in their own ways.

By and large, the polling was being conducted in a peaceful manner with no reports yet of any untoward incidents. Temporary glitches pertaining to the functioning of EVMs and VV Pats were reported at five places before they were quickly resolved to resume the polling process without any interruption.

According to Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj, 25.8 percent polling was recorded by 11 am. In Nampally, 29.5 percent votes were polled by this time. Polling was delayed by 45 minutes at one place due to the malfunctioning of an EVM. Barring a minor skirmish at Marriguda, the polling was largely incident-free till afternoon. The police intervened to disperse mobs following a skirmish between the supporters of two parties outside the polling station in Marriguda.

The CEO said that a total of 38 complaints were received through calls pertaining to polling-related excesses even as the 42 non-locals were identified and moved out of the constituency, in adherence to the prescribed guidelines. Also, a total of Rs 2.99 lakh cash, suspected to be used to influence the voters, was seized at two different places.

CEO Vikas Raj also expressed hope that a polling of over 90 percent would be registered by the end of the day, like it happened in the past here.

Even as queues were witnessed outside several polling booths, special auto-rickshaw services were also being run to ferry senior citizens above the age of 80 and the physically challenged persons. The auto service is part of a range of special arrangements made by the district collector to facilitate a hassle-free trip to polling stations and a smooth voting experience.

Bangarigadda women insist on cash, gold

Even as an encouraging trend of polling being witnessed across the Assembly constituency, political parties had to feel the heat at a few places over their 'unfulfilled promises' of 'enticements for vote'. A group of women in Lenin Colony of Bangarigadda gave anxious moments to the political parties as they refused to take part in the voting.

They were upset with the candidates for not honouring their promise of giving them a tola of gold besides Rs 40,000 each in exchange for their vote.

Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy, the TRS candidate, was among the first to cast his ballot in the morning.

The candidates have also been going round various polling stations to personally monitor the situation and the polling trends.

Meanwhile, Central Polling Observer Pankaj Kumar paid a visit to the polling station at Choutuppal and inspected the voting process there. He also assessed the arrangements made at the booth.

BJP Telangana President Bandi Sanjay Kumar also complained to the Telangana CEO over police inaction in sending out non-locals out of the constituency. Sanjay was taken into preventive detention on the outskirts of Hyderabad in the early hours of Wednesday when he tried to proceed to Munugode following reports of some non-local leaders still camping there.

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