Telangana: Polling for Teachers\' MLC polls today

Hyderabad: The stage is set for the biennial elections to the Telangana Legislative Council from Mahbubnagar-Ranga Reddy-Hyderabad teachers’ constituency on Monday. Polling will be held at 137 stations from 8 am to 4 pm with 22 centres in Hyderabad. A total of 29,720 voters are expected to cast their votes.

Returning officer Priyanka Ala reviewed arrangements, inspected the distribution centre set up at the Greater Hyderabad Municipal headquarters on Sunday as well as issued necessary instructions to the polling staff ahead of the polls. She asked the election staff to examine the statutory and non-statutory documents as well as the ballot paper, ballot box and voter list in advance. The polling staff have moved to their respective stations with their polling equipment.

Ala said that 12 sectoral officers and 29 observers have been appointed to ensure a smooth poll. Police presence and facilities for voters including drinking water, tents and ramps for the specially abled have been arranged at the polling stations. A reception centre has been set up at the Saroornagar Indoor Stadium. Candidates and political parties are requesting voters to cast at least 'second preference vote' ahead of polling as they had decided the fate of candidates in the previous MLC elections.

As many as 21 candidates are in the fray. While the ruling BRS stayed from contesting the election and supporting Gurram Chenna Keshav Reddy, who is backed by the Progressive Recognised Teachers Union-TS (PRTU-TS), the BJP has declared support to A. Venkata Narayan Reddy, while the Congress has extended support to Gali Harshavardhan Reddy.

The “second preference vote” assumed significance as none of the three major candidates are expected to get 50 per cent of votes as “first preference vote”. In the election held for this seat in 2017, the second preference vote decided the winning candidate.

There were 19,338 voters in 2017. While Katepally Janardhan Reddy backed by TRS (now BRS) secured 7,640 first preference votes, the other two candidates A.V.N. Reddy and Manik Reddy got 3,091 and 3,048 votes respectively. As none secured 50 per cent “first preference votes”, the “second preference votes” were counted. Manik Reddy climbed up to second place after the “second preference vote”. After the elimination of A.V.N. Reddy, the votes polled for Janardhan Reddy were 9,734 and Manik Reddy were 5,095 and Janardhan Reddy was declared elected.

But now Janardhan Reddy is contesting as rebel candidate from PRTU as independent and Manik Reddy is in the fray as independent with the support of United Teachers' Federation. It is believed that the vote split in PRTU will decide the fate of candidates and it is for this reason all the parties are requesting voters to cast their candidates at least “second preference vote”.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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