Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service
Hyderabad, November 3
The by-poll for the Dubbak Assembly in Telangana recorded 81.44 per cent polling till 5 pm.
Long queues outside polling booths were reported since the time polling started at 7 am in 315 polling stations, all following the COVID-19 protocols with every voter being checked for fever.
The polling, however, picked up around lunch hour and it stood at 71 per cent at 3 pm.
The contest in the constituency is between the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), BJP and Congress candidates.
Located in Siddipet district, around 100 km from capital city of Hyderabad, the constituency saw polling till 6 pm and the poll percentage is expected to touch around 85.
Chief Electoral Officer Shashank Goel was seen moving throughout the day and observed the situation at many polling stations, including the ZPHS Latchapet in Dubbak mandal.
He along with district collector Bharathi Holliker and Commissioner of Police D Joel Davis also examined the strong room at Latchapet where the EVM machines will be kept.
Nearly 2,000 personnel comprising central forces and Telangana Police have been deployed as part of security arrangements for smooth conduct of the by-polls, said a senior police official.
The by-poll was necessitated by the death of sitting TRS MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy in August this year. The ruling TRS has fielded his widow Solipeta Sujatha from the constituency.
The Congress has fielded Cheruku Srinivas Reddy, who defected to the party from TRS, just ahead of the by-poll. The BJP, meanwhile, has given ticket to M Raghunandan Rao, who lost in Dubbak in the previous Assembly elections.
Speaking to the media, District Collector Bharathi Holliker said the polling was been peaceful and voters’ turnout was impressive.
She pointed out that delay in few places was inevitable as the election officers were bound to impose COVID regulations.
“Thermal screening, social distancing and distribution of gloves took time,” she explained.