Hyderabad: A brisk and peaceful polling was witnessed in the Dubbak byelection on Tuesday, after a high-octane campaign by all principal parties in the state. Chief Electoral Officer Shashank Goel declared that 82.61 per cent polling was recorded at the end of the poll at 6 pm. The counting of votes will be held on November 10.
The polling, which started on a dull note early in the day, picked up momentum around lunch hour. When compared with the 2018 Assembly elections, the bypoll registered a 3.38 per cent lower voter turnout. The voter participation in the 2018 Assembly election was the highest-ever recorded in Dubbak constituency since it was created. During the 2014 Assembly election, the constituency had recorded 82.6 per cent voting.
The byelection was necessitated by the death of sitting TRS MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy.
Though the constituency witnessed a heavy turnout of voters, polling booths did not wear an overcrowded look in view of Covid-19, as voters and party workers did not hang around polling booths or on its premises for a long time.
According to returning officer Bharathi Hollikeri, no untoward incidents were reported across the 315 polling booths in the constituency.
Though Electronic Voting Machines developed technical glitch causing delay in voting at some places, she said technicians fixed snags very soon and the polling resumed immediately. She pointed out that delay in few places was inevitable as election officers were bound to impose Covid regulations.
Hollikeri said Covid-prevention steps like thermal screening, social distancing and the distribution of gloves increased the average time required for casting a vote.
In view of the clash between BJP and TRS workers at a hotel in Siddipet on Monday night, the police took strict security measures to ensure that the polling goes on peacefully.
Ruling TRS candidate Solipeta Sujatha cast her vote at Chittapur village in Dubbak mandal while Congress candidate Cheruku Srinivas Reddy exercised his voting right in Thoguta Mandal headquarters. BJP candidate M. Raghunandan Rao cast his vote at Boppapur in Dubbak mandal. Medak MP K. Prabhakar Reddy, who hails from the constituency, and his family members cast their votes at Potharam village in Dubbak mandal.
Chief Electoral Officer Shashank Goel inspected the polling trend at various polling stations in Dubbak town and also inspected the strong room at Latchpet, where the EVMs will be stored after receiving them from the polling booths on Tuesday night.
As the polling went on peacefully, the TRS, Congress and the BJP claimed to win the seat in the byelection.
Finance minister T. Harish Rao thanked the voters for turning up heavily to cast their vote despite the threat of Covid-19. The minister observed the polling trend from his camp office in Siddipet.
The minister lashed out at the BJP for trying to confuse the voters ever since the bypoll was notified. He said even today BJP leaders tried to confuse the people by circulating a morphing video in social media wherein the Congress candidate is showing as joining the TRS.
TPCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy thanked the voters and exuded confidence about the Congress winning the Dubbak seat. He alleged that the BJP and the TRS circulated a morphed video to ditch the winning chances of the Congress.
BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar thanked the voters and said that the victory of the BJP is imminent in Dubbak. He said the people voted for the BJP with great hope as it is the only party that could bring a change in politics of Telangana in the future.