The stage is set for counting of votes in the country's youngest state Telangana to constitute a new Assembly. The process for counting of votes will begin at 8 am at 43 centres including 13 in Hyderabad district.
The stage is set for counting of votes in the country’s youngest state Telangana to constitute a new Assembly. The process for counting of votes will begin at 8 am at 43 centres including 13 in Hyderabad district. Telangana has 31 districts and its Legislative Assembly has 119 seats. According to the Election Commission, all arrangements for smooth conduct of counting are in place. The EVMs are kept under three-tier security. Also, CCTV cameras have been installed to keep a check round-the-clock check on movements near the strongrooms.
Polling in Telangana was held in a single phase on December 7. The state has over 2.8 crore registered voters. According to the Election Commission, the state recorded over 73% turn out with Yadadri Bhongir district registering the highest poll percentage of 90.95% and Hyderabad the lowest at 48.89%.
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Meanwhile, the caretaker government of KCR has declared a holiday in the state on Tuesday in view of the counting of votes. A total of 1821 candidates including 135 women are in the fray.
Telangana election 2018 result: Here are 6 key candidates to watch out for –
1: K Chandrashekar Rao, Gajwel seat
While all eyes are set on Gajwel assembly seat from where Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is seeking a re-election, the Congress and BJP have fielded their heavyweights against him from here. Congress has fielded Vanteru Pratap Reddy and BJP has given a ticket to Akula Vijaya from Gajwel seat which is a part of Medak parliamentary constituency. Reddy had lost to KCR in 2014 by around 19,000 votes. KCR is a very popular leader in Gajwel but Congress’ Reddy has spent most of his time with people in the constituency and hopes to give KCR a tough fight.
2. KT Rama Rao, Sirsilla seat
Another key candidate is KT Rama Rao of TRS. Rao is seeking re-election from Sirsilla. He is the caretaker IT and Industries minister in the KCR government and son of TRS president. Congress and BJP have fielded KK Mahender Reddy and N Narsa Goud, respectively, against him. Mahender Reddy is a popular leader who was at the forefront of the Telangana movement. He is hoping to upset KCR’s son this time.
3. T Harish Rao, Siddipet seat
KCR’s nephew T Harish Rao is contesting from Siddipet constituency. Harish Rao is a five-time MLA and is facing a tough fight from M Bhavani Reddy of TJS and BJP’s Narottam Reddy. Rao is Irrigation Minister in the caretaker government. The Siddipet seat was once held by KCR himself.
4. Revanth Reddy, Kodangal seat
A Revanth Reddy of Congress is contesting from Kodangal. The TDP of Chandrababu Naidu is backing his candidature. He is a strong critic of KCR. In the 2014 Assembly polls, he had successfully won from Kodangal on TDP’s ticket but switched his loyalty last year. The TRS has pitted Patnam Narender Reddy from the seat while the BJP has fielded N Namaji from here.
5. T Raja Singh, Goshamahal seat
Another key leader who is the focus is BJP’s T Raja Singh. He is seeking re-election from Goshamahal constituency. Singh has been booked by police in several cases and is the MLA with the highest number of criminal cases (43). Interestingly, Singh had got Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to campaign from him. The Goshamahal seat in the Hyderabad old city consists of a sizeable population of Muslim voters. The TRS has fielded Premsingh Rathod and Congress has given a ticket to Mukesh Goud. BJP’s Raja Singh also leads the Gou Rakshak Movement in the old city of Hyderabad.
6. Akbaruddin Owaisi, Chandrayangutta seat
Akbaruddin Owaisi is the younger brother of AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi. He is seeking re-election from Chandrayangutta seat. The firebrand leader is facing a tough contest from Syed Shehzadi of BJP, Esa Misri of Congress and Seetharam Reddy of TRS. The set is keenly watched as BJP had deployed resources in the constituency to seek people support for Shehzadi.
Telangana came into existence in 2014 after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. This is the first assembly election in the state since its formation on June 2, 2014. The previous Assembly poll was held in 2014 along with elections in Andhra Pradesh to constitute the first Assembly.
Election in Telangana was earlier scheduled for early next year along with the Lok Sabha polls. But the KCR government on September 6 dissolved the House, forcing the Election Commission to announce fresh elections before the scheduled expiry of the Assembly.
Meanwhile, several exit polls have predicted the return of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the southern state. The Congress-led alliance of which TDP, TJS and CPI are a part, is likely to get around 35-40 seats against 70-75 of the TRS. The BJP is likely to bag 5-7 seats.