About 88 per cent of voters exercised their franchise in Nagarjuna Sagar bye-poll in Telangana on Friday. However, the exact figure would be known later, officials said.Polling began at 7 AM and ended at 7 PM amid the COVID-19 measures, they said. Counting of votes would be taken up on May 2.
The polling began on a brisk note in the morning and continued to see voters turn out in large numbers throughout the day. Till 11 am, 31 per cent voter turnout was recorded which increased to 53 per cent by 1 pm. Telangana's Chief Electoral Officer Shashank Goyal visited polling stations in Pylon colony and Hill colony in the constituency to personally take stock of the polling activities and ensured COVID-19 protocols are in place.While polling was held from 7 am to 7 pm, the last hour of polling was kept open for COVID-19 patients.
As many as 4,000 police personnel, including central forces, were deployed for the bypoll, a top police official of Nalgonda District said on Thursday. Election officials set up as many as 346 polling stations. The bye-poll was necessitated due to the death of sitting TRS legislator Nomula Narsimhaiah in December last.
The ruling TRS nominated Nomula Bhagat,son of Narsimhaiah. The BJP put up P Ravi Kumar as its candidate. The Congress fielded senior leader K Jana Reddy, who was Leader of Opposition in the previous Legislative Assembly. Jana Reddy lost from the same constituency in the 2018 Assembly polls.
The Nagarjuna Sagar bypoll result would be an acid test for the ruling TRS, the BJP and the Congress -- with all three keen to prove their might as a win or defeat may script the strategy to be adopted by them for the Assembly polls in 2023. Though candidates from other parties and independents are in the fray for the Assembly segment, the contest would be mainly between the three parties.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)