Nizamabad: There was suspense that the Lok Sabha election from Nizamabad may not be held on April 11 in view of the very large number of candidates in the fray and the additional arrangements that need to be made to conduct the poll.
Farmers from Five Assembly constituencies in Nizamabad district and two in Jagtial district have began their election campaign on Saturday.
This has presented its own problems. A few farmer-candidates have reportedly sought gunmen for their security. They have claimed that they were receiving threats from political parties.
Speaking to this newspaper, Nizamabad range DIG N. Shiva Shanker said only recognised political party candidates can be given gunmen. It was not possible to provide gunmen for all the contestants, he said. Nizamabad commissioner Kartikeya, nodal officer for the Lok Sabha election, is monitoring the situation, he said.
EVMs support a total of 64 candidates. If there are more than that number, the election is held by ballot paper.
A TRS leader on condition of anonymity said that polling should be conducted on April 11 either with EVMs or through ballot paper. “We are unable to cope with the tremendous pressure of electioneering,” he said. It is better to complete the election process as per schedule. If polling is postponed, everyone will be adversely affected, he said,
In Hyderabad, Chief Electoral Office sources said that they are waiting for directions from the Election Commission. The CEO has sent models of ballot papers and ballot boxes for approval.
A CEO official said the Nizamabad election would be held on April 11 and there would be no postponement. Holding an election with a large ballot paper was not an issue, he said. In the past officials had conducted the Nalgonda Lok Sabha election with 480 candidates....