Telangana Assembly polls: Voters line up for their right

Deccan Chronicle.  | Deccan Chronicle

Nation, Politics

73.81% recorded in Nizamabad; exclusive women’s booth for 1st time.

Voters thronged Pothangal polling station in Navipet mandal in Nizamabad district on Friday. (DC)

NIZAMABAD: The first ever polls for the Telangana State Legislative Assembly (TSLA) was conducted peacefully on Friday. Barring sporadic incidents, the polling was peaceful in all 9 Assembly constituencies in Nizamabad and Kamareddy districts. Voters thronged polling stations early as polling began at 7 am. Officials said that around 73.81  percent polling had been registered.

For the first time, Election Commission of India (ECI) set up model and exclusive women polling stations in each Assembly constituency. First time voters were surprised to get appreciation certificates from polling personnel after casting their votes.

Women voters were happy to get roses in the women’s exclusive polling stations along with free sanitary napkins that were distributed as part of a hygiene awareness programme. Women with children availed the creche facility there.

Speaking to DC, Kamareddy district women and child welfare officer Radhamma and district employment officer Shabnam said that mothers utilised the creche facility while casting their votes. Women voters have enthusiastically taken part in the polling process, they said. District election officers M. R. M. Rao in Nizamabad and N. Satyanarayana in Kamareddy district headquarters monitored the process in their respective districts. Web casting helped the officials to get first-hand information on polling process from remote and interior areas of the district.

Meanwhile, few voters expressed their displeasure about their names missing from the voters’ list. In addition, there were changes in polling stations which also inconvenienced the voters. But thanks to the linking of Aadhar card with electoral photo identity card, the number of bogus voters decreased dramatically.

Polling staff in Kamareddy faced an embarrassing situation on Friday as there was no furniture in the booth. They were forced to stand for around three hours after polling began, before chairs were brought. EVMs, VVPATS performed well in both the districts.

Meanwhile, contestants including caretaker minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, MP K. Kavitha, Rajya Sabha member D. Srinivas franchised their votes. Central paramilitary forces and local police had made tight security arrangements at polling stations to avoid any untoward incidents.

Speaking to DC, nonagenarian Bammera Mallavva of Sriramnagar colony in Kamareddy town said that she was happy to cast her vote. “For the last 50 years, I have been franchising my vote in different elections”, she said. “My grandson escorted me to the women’s polling booth. I am unaware about the political scenario, but I have voted for my contestant” she added.