First phase of elections to local bodies today in Telangana

In all 2,097 MPTCs and 195 ZPTCs go to the polls on Monday.

Hyderabad: Hundreds of villages across the state will vote on Monday to elect members to the mandal and zilla territorial constituencies in the first phase of the three-phase elections.

In all 2,097 MPTCs and 195 ZPTCs go to the polls on Monday. There are 7,072 candidates for the mandal polls and 883 for the zilla polls.

The Telangana State Election Commission had last month released the election schedule for 5,817 MPTCs and 539 ZPTCs. The second phase polling is on May 10 and the third on May 14. Counting of votes will be on May 27.

Around 1.56 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise and the elections will be held through ballot papers. The Congress and the Telugu Desam is watching this as a test case in their protest against the electronic voting machines (EVMs)

Polling to one mandal has been countermanded after it was found that a TRS candidate was forcing his Congress rival to accept money and pull out of the contest.

A report from Kothagudem said the ZPTCs and MPTCs candidates had come to a common understanding to bribe voters with pork. A group of 20 voters demanded a pig.

The election of Dammapet ZPTC and Mushtibanda MPTC are said to be among the costliest. Voters are being given `1,000 and `1,500 each because of the keen fight between the main contestants in the two seats.

In Jayashankar Bhupalpally, which is treated as a left-wing extremism-hit district, the polling will take place from 7am to 4pm, concluding the polling process one hour prior.

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