Amid tight security, polling got underway for the elections to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) on Tuesday.
The polling began at 7 a.m. at 9,101 polling stations in all 150 divisions. The process will continue till 6 p.m. Poll began on a dull note at most of the polling stations as only a few voters were seen in the first hour.
TRS working president and state minister KT Rama Rao and MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi figured in the list of prominent people who cast their votes early in the morning.
A total of 74,67,256 voters are eligible to cast their votes. They include 38,89,637 men, 35,76,941 women and 678 others.
The election authorities are conducting the polls through paper ballots instead of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
A total of 1,122 candidates are in the fray. Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is contesting all seats, BJP has fielded candidates in 149 divisions, Congress in 146, TDP in 106, MIM in 51, CPI in 17, and CPI-M in 12 divisions.
Other recognized parties have fielded 76 candidates while 415 independents are also testing their political fortunes. Wearing of face mask is mandatory for voters coming to polling stations. Poll officials said those not wearing masks will not be allowed into the polling station.
GHMC has deployed 36,404 personnel for the polling duty. They were also provided masks, sanitizers, and tissues. State Election Commission (SEC) has made all arrangements have been made for the smooth and peaceful conduct of the elections, duly following COVID-19 regulations.
Sanitization of all polling stations was done before the commencement of the poll process. A sanitizer is being provided at the entry and exit point of every polling station.
Circles have been marked outside the polling stations to ensure social distancing. Director-General of Police M. Mahender Reddy said over 50,000 police personnel were deployed to ensure polling in a peaceful and free and fair manner. Police commissioners of Hyderabad, Cyberabad, and Rachakonda said tight security arrangements were made at the polling stations and other points.