Telangana State Election Commission has offered postal ballot option for persons with disabilities, people aged above 80 and COVID-19 positive patients to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections on Saturday. "Voters with disabilities, age of 80 years and above and Covid positive (patients) are eligible to use any one of the facilities. Either they can vote at the polling station physically or they can cast their vote using postal ballot," said an official order in the name of the State Election Commissioner C Parthasarathi.
In case any such eligible persons choose to vote in person at the polling booth, the SEC ordered officials to arrange for ramps and wheelchairs at every polling station. Volunteers will be arranged to push the wheel chairs.
"Voters with disabilities, age of 80 years and above and mothers with a child in arms shall be allowed directly into the polling station, irrespective of regular queue lines," said the order.
Likewise, in the event of coronavirus patients missing using postal ballots, they will still be allowed to vote at their respective polling stations at the last hour, from 5 pm to 6 pm on election day. "However, all required precautions shall be taken, including wearing a mask, face shield and hand gloves by the Covid positive voter," said the note.
Elections for the 150 wards of Hyderabad civic body will be held on December 1 and the counting has been scheduled on December 4.
Meanwhile, the parties have begun campaigning through roadshows and social media. Though the election is a triangular contest between the TRS, Congress and the BJP, with the BJPâ€™s victory in the recent Dubbaka bye-election, the main focus of the battle is between the BJP and TRS. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has even called a meeting of leaders of non-NDA parties to take on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, and to give shape to an anti-BJP platform.