After a high-voltage campaign, the polling for the Dubbaka bye-poll in Telangana concluded peacefully on Tuesday without any violence. Surprisingly, despite the COVID-19 pandemic prevailing, the voter turnout was impressive at 82.61%. The results to the bye-elections will be announced on November 10. The bye-poll had witnessed a fierce battle between the TRS and BJP right until the day of polling.
In view of the pandemic, the State Election Commission followed all the health protocols — like thermal screening, sanitizing the hands and providing gloves to the voters — to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Authorities had held wide campaigns asking voters to mandatorily wear a mask while coming to the polling station. The SEC also made a special arrangement for the 73 COVID-19 patients in the constituency.
The constituency had 1,98,807 voters who exercised their franchise in 315 polling stations. Special security was deployed at 89 polling stations.
While the polling concluded without any major incident, the day saw enough drama, as fake news about Congress candidate Cheruku Srinivas joining TRS went viral on social media. Fake screenshots of a TV9 news channel breaking news plate were shared, speculating that Srinivas was joining the TRS party. A livid Srinivas blamed both the TRS and the BJP for this incident and filed a complaint.
“On WhatsApp and social media, fake news is being circulated about me. This has been done by (BJP candidate) Raghunandan Rao and (TRS leader) Harish Rao. They are scared about losing in the elections and hence are resorting to such means. I request people not to believe in these rumours. I am with the Congress and there is no question that I will join the TRS again. They should be ashamed to continue in politics,” Srinivas told the media after filing a complaint with the Thoguta police.
Following the incident, the news channel TV9 also issued a clarification and filed a complaint with the police as well. The Congress party has also filed a complaint regarding the incident with Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora.