After high-octane campaigning, low voter turnout in Hyderabad

Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, December 1

After hectic campaigning that brought big national leaders to Hyderabad, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polling witnessed a lackluster response. The State Election Commission (SEC) authorities reported fewer than 40 per cent polling in these civic polls that had attracted national attention.

The voting turned to be a photo opportunity for people to take pictures with Telugu cine stars and local politicians. The figures released by the SEC at 5 pm were just 35.8 per cent polling.

The polling was by and large peaceful barring some skirmishes between the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and All-India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) supporters in the old city area. BJP state president Bandi Sanjay accused the opposition workers of damaging his car and preventing him from going to some polling stations. The SEC has announced re-poll in some wards of the Malakpet segment.

By 4 pm, when two hours of polling was still pending, the SEC reported only 30 per cent voting, it went up slightly till the end of the polling, but was still “disappointing” according to some politicians. The Covid-19 pandemic and series of holidays is said to have acted as a spoilsport in terms of lower polling percentage.

According to reports tabulated so far, Bagh Amberpet division recorded the highest turnout of 64.82 per cent while the lowest 6.77 per cent polling was seen in Monda Market.

The elections were held through paper ballots instead of Electronic Voting Machines. For voters above 80 years of age, physically challenged and those who tested Covid-19 positive after November 1, postal ballot facility was offered.

Superstar Chiranjeevi and actor Nagarjuna were among the leading Telugu film personalities who cast their votes. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter and TRS leader K Kavitha and her brother KT Rama Rao cast their votes in Banjara Hills. The counting of votes will be held on December 4.

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