Polling for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls in the 26th division of Old Malakpet in Hyderabad was stopped on Tuesday due to alleged discrepancies. Repolling will be conducted in this division on Thursday. The decision to stop the polling in Malakpet was taken following a complaint from CPI state secretary Chada Venkat Reddy, who alleged that his party symbol was replaced with another symbol on the ballot paper.
Addressing the media, Venkat Reddy said, â€śInstead of ears of corn and sickle, we got hammer, sickle and star as the symbol (symbol of CPI (Marxist)). This is a testimony to the negligence of the Election Commission. This is atrocious. The official who did this should be investigated and appropriate action should be taken against him. We condemn such a blunder and demand that the polling should be stopped and re-polling should be conducted.â€ť
The Election Commission found the issue raised by the CPI party "satisfying" and announced re-polling in all the 69 polling stations. The EC further said, "In view of the repoll, publication, broadcasting and telecasting of the Exit polls on the GHMC elections is banned till 06.00 pm on 3/12/2020."
The CPI also alleged that their Malakpet division candidate Firdous Fathima was threatened by AIMIM MLA Ahmed Balala. The party demanded that the police file a criminal case against the Malakpet legislator.
The election result would be announced on December 4. Over 74 lakh voters will decide the political fortunes of 1,122 candidates in fray for the 150 GHMC divisions. The polling percentage has remained abysmal till noon. As of 9 am, only 3.96 % voters exercised their franchise. The GHMC has 38,89,637 male, 35,76,941 female and 678 other voters.
Meanwhile, on polling day, a car belonging to Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay was reportedly stopped by BJP activists at Kukatpally, suspecting that he was going to distribute cash to influence the voters. A day earlier, the car of BJP state president Bandi Sanjay was attacked in Necklace Road, by TRS workers who raised the same accusation. Following the attack, Sanjay claimed that it was an attempt to murder him.