Hyderabad: Urban voters are all set to seal the fate of about 12,846 candidates contesting in the municipal polls scheduled to be held on Wednesday. The polling, which will be held from 7 am to 5 pm, will be held in nine municipal corporations and 120 municipalities across the State.
While the notification was issued for elections in 3,052 municipal wards, including 2,727 wards in 120 municipalities and 325 divisions in nine municipal corporations, polling will not be held in 80 wards following the unanimous election of candidates. Besides 45,000 polling staff, about 50,000 police personnel are being deployed for the elections. They have already reached to their designated polling stations on Tuesday evening. Another 10,000 staff will be deployed for counting on January 25.
In all, 53.5 lakh voters, including 26.73 lakh women and 357 belonging third gender, are expected to exercise their franchise during the polling at about 7,961 polling stations across 129 civic bodies. About 6,531 polling stations are under surveillance through either live webcasting, video coverage or micro observers. The government has declared a holiday in the areas where the elections will be held on Wednesday.
Speaking to the media here on Tuesday, Telangana State Election Commission Commissioner V Nagireddy said all arrangements were made for the polling. He said stringent measures would be initiated against candidates who were resorting to the distribution of money, liquor and other means to lure voters. About Rs 44.41 lakh unaccounted cash, apart from 16.25 lakh worth liquor and other valuables, were seized by the police since the release of election notification.
“We will conduct repolling in wards where tender votes are registered. We will also not hesitate to conduct repolling in wards where political parties distribute money. We urge the political parties and also public to bring to our notice if any such incidents occur,” Nagireddy said. He warned that candidates who fail to submit their election expenditure would be ousted from their post even after their election.
The municipal polls have many firsts to its credit besides being the first election after the implementation of the new Municipal Act. About 68 of 73 new municipalities are facing the elections for the first time, while women will have 50 per cent reservation in all civic bodies. Further, the State Election Commission is going to use the ‘Face Recognition App’ for the first time in the country to prevent fake voters. A pilot project will be implemented at 10 polling stations under Kompally Municipality in Medchal-Malkajgiri district in this regard.
Meanwhile, campaigning came to an end in Karimnagar Municipal Corporation on Tuesday evening ahead of polling scheduled on January 24. As against 60 divisions, polling will be held in 58 divisions in the wake of the unanimous election of two candidates. Counting will be conducted on January 27.