Counting of votes for the Dubbaka bye-election has begun on Tuesday morning. According to the election Returning Officer, all the necessary arrangements have been made at Indur Engineering College in Siddipet district headquarters.
The officials said that the entire vote counting procedure will be video-graphed to ensure transparency beside updating the results on the Election Commission of India (ECI) website. According to EC authorities, the counting of votes will begin at 8 am on Tuesday and the final result will be declared by afternoon.
The Dubbaka bye-election was necessitated by the demise of sitting MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy of the ruling TRS party. The election gained significance given the timing. The ruling TRS placed Solipeta's wife Sujatha while Congress gave ticket to Cheruku Srinivas Reddy and BJP fielded its senior leader Raghunandan Rao leading to a three-cornered fight.
A whopping 82% polling was recorded on November 3. As many as 23 candidates were in the fray. Officials said that the counting will take place in a total of 23 rounds.
A senior official said that tight security measures have been put in place for the counting of votes, with the Siddipet police having made elaborate arrangements to thwart any untoward incident. "Around 500 policemen have been deployed to oversee security arrangements," Police Commissioner Joel Davis said on Monday.
The high-decibel campaign has reached its peak with politicians making communally-charged remarks, with the TRS and BJP indulging in a war of words.
The outcome of the bye-poll would give the winning party the much needed morale booster ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls. In the 120-member house, which includes a nominated Anglo-Indian legislator, Congress has six MLAs after several switched their loyalties to TRS, the BJP has one.
(With PTI inputs)