Hyderabad: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday released the much-awaited bypoll schedule for Huzurabad Assembly constituency. The polling will be held on October 30 and the result will be announced on November 2.
While the poll notification will be issued on October 1, the deadline to file nominations is October 8. The scrutiny of nominations will be on October 11 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is October 13.
The bypoll was necessitated after the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) MLA and former health minister Etala Rajendar quit the party as well as the MLA post on June 12 after he was sacked from the Cabinet by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on May 2 over land encroachment allegations. Rajendar subsequently joined the BJP on June 14.
Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Shanshank Goel on Tuesday said the election code of conduct came into force with immediate effect in Karimnagar and Hanamkonda districts as Kamalapur mandal in Huzurabad constituency fell under Hanamkonda district.
He stated the election would be held strictly in accordance with the Covid regulations and urged all political parties and people to cooperate with the EC in this regard. Goel said as many as 2,36,269 voters were on electoral rolls for whom 308 polling booths would be set up.
However, the TRS leadership was caught by surprise at the ECI's announcement of schedule on Tuesday. Party sources said the party leadership was in favour of bypoll by November-end. Accordingly, the state government sought deferment of bypoll until ongoing festival season is over when the EC sought its opinion on September 1 on the grounds of flood situations, festivals and Covid pandemic in September/October during a video conference held by ECI with Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and DGP P. Mahender Reddy.
The ongoing festival season ends with Diwali on November 4. The party leadership was expecting the ECI to issue notification after Diwali and hold polling by November-end since December 12 is the deadline for the EC to hold the bypoll.
Given that the ECI had kept Huzurabad bypoll on hold while releasing the schedule of bypolls for three Assembly seats in West Bengal and one in Odisha on September 4 citing the Telangana government's view to hold elections after festival season, the TRS leadership was confident of the ECI conducting the bypoll only after Diwali.
But the ECI releasing schedule all of a sudden to hold election before Diwali surprised the TRS leaders and cadre, according to sources. The TRS has announced Gellu Srinivas Yadav as its candidate for the Huzurabad bypoll on August 11.