The elections for Warangal, Khammam municipal corporations and five other local bodies in Telangana ended at 5pm on 30th April without any major hiccups. With the exception of few incidents of clashes between the ruling party TRS and opposition parties contesting elections, there were no other reports of any major incidents. The few incidents of clashes reported occurred in Greater Warangal & Khammam areas but were soon brought to an end as the police forces were quick to intervene and diffuse the situation.
The Telangana High Court had directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to follow Covid-19 protocols and implement strict safety measures at all the voting centres. An average voter turnout of 50% was reported from the areas where the polls were being conducted. The Telangana High Court had already admonished the SEC to refrain from holding public elections at a time when the number of positive cases in the state is on the rise. A division bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli & Justice B Vijaysen Reddy questioned the necessity for the SEC to conduct elections at this point in time. CJ Kohli also warned the SEC that the elections will not only put the lives of the public at risk but also risks the health of the 7,700 government employees and nearly 2,600 security and police personnel required to conduct the elections.Sponsored Links
Under the searing heat and soaring temperatures, voters queued up since the beginning of the voting since 7 AM on 30th April outside the election booths in Greater Warangal & Khammam Municipal Corporations and five municipalities of Siddipet, Jedcherla, Atchampet, Kothur & Nakrekal. At the same time polling was also held for by-elections of 4 wards in 4 other municipalities and one ward of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.
At the end of the day, the voter turnout was around 50% in Greater Warangal region, 58% in Khammam and 68% in Siddipet Municipal Ward. 11.6 lakh voters were registered for the municipal elections of which nearly 5.9 lakh were women. These 11.6 lakh voters had to exercise their responsibility to vote at the 1,539 polling stations that were setup. 1,300 candidates were contesting the elections of which nearly 480 were independent candidates. A total of over 9,800 polling personnel were deployed by the SEC to ensure smooth operation during the elections while maintaining and following the Covid-19 protocols in place.Sponsored Links
C Parthasarathi, the State Election Commissioner monitored the polling process from Hyderabad and kept instructing his officers on the ground at the polling stations at regular intervals to ensure Covid-19 protocols were being adhered to. He also ordered SEC officials to arrange to & from polling stations for police personnel from reception centres to their respective destinations after they hand over election material while only having 50% percent occupancy in these transport modes.
The day’s polling action began at 7AM for all the urban local bodies (ULBs) where SEC officials ensured voters maintained social distancing and wore their masks at all times. The Aarogya Setu app was also used to keep a check while every polling booth had sanitizer disposal stands at the entrances, the polling booths were also sanitised regularly every few hours. Every election officer and police personnel was given a safety kit which consisted of a pair of gloves, a mask, sanitiser and face shield.Sponsored Links