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Elections

Voting underway for MLC bypoll in Telangana

IANS | May 27, 2024 11:08 AM

HYDERABAD: Polling was underway for the by-election to the Telangana Legislative Council from the Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda graduates’ constituency on Monday.

Voting began at 8 a.m. in 34 Assembly constituencies spread over 12 districts, officials said. The process will conclude at 4 p.m.

A total of 4, 63, 839 graduates are eligible to cast their votes in this constituency. The Election Commission has set up 605 polling centres.

A total of 52 candidates are in the fray for the by-election but the main contest is among Congress, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates.

The vacancy arose after Palla Rajeshwar Reddy of BRS resigned following his election to the Assembly from the Jangaon constituency in the Assembly elections held in November 2023. He was elected as MLC in the election held in 2021.

Unlike in the recent Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, this by-election is being held with ballot papers and on the basis of a preferential system.

Nalgonda district collector Dasari Harichandana, who is the returning officer, said that elaborate arrangements have been made for the by-election.

Police have imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code around the polling centres to ensure peaceful conduct of the polls.

Coming close on the heels of the Lok Sabha elections, the by-election is witnessing a bitter contest among the main players.

For ruling Congress, it is a prestige battle as it is going all out to demonstrate that it continues to enjoy the support of graduates. Jobs for unemployed youth was one of the key promises of the party in the Assembly elections and the party tried to assure the voters that it is committed to filling two lakh vacancies by the end of 2024.

The ruling Congress party, which has 33 out of the 34 MLAs in the graduates' constituency, is confident of wresting the seat from BRS.

It has fielded Chintapandu Naveen alias Teenmaar Mallanna, who had contested as an independent and finished second in the election for the MLC seat held two years ago.

He is locked in a three-cornered contest with Rakesh Reddy of BRS and G. Permender Reddy of BJP.

Premender Reddy had secured fourth place in the 2021 poll as a BJP candidate.

Rakesh Reddy quit BJP to join BRS just before the Assembly elections after he was denied a ticket from the Warangal constituency.

Teenmaar Mallanna had also quit the BJP to join Congress just before the Assembly polls.

The CPI, CPI(M) and TJS have declared their support for the Congress candidate.

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