Over 34 lakh votes cast in Hyderabad municipal polls

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Hyderabad, Dec 2 (IANS) A total of 46.60 per cent of over 74 lakh voters cast their votes on Tuesday in the elections to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the Telangana State Election Commission said on Wednesday.

The final figures were released a day after the polling which was largely peaceful and smooth, barring a goof-up which led to poll postponement in one division.

Five hours after the polling ended at 6 p.m., the SEC put the approximate polling percentage at “over 43 per cent”. After an hour, it was revised to 45.71 per cent.

However, the next morning, the overall polling percentage was put at 46.60. Official sources attributed this to the delay in receiving final reports from GHMC Deputy Commissioners.

Even 46.60 per cent is not the final figure as this will be revised further after re-poll in the Old Malakpet division, where the polling was stopped after discrepancy in ballot paper came to light. The SEC has ordered re-poll in all 69 polling booths in the division on December 3.

A total of 34,54,552 votes were polled in 149 divisions on Tuesday. The overall poll percentage by men was 48.09, women 45 and by others 10.81 per cent.

A total of 74,67,256 people were eligible to cast their votes. They include 38,89,637 men, 35,76,941 women and 678 others.

The overall poll percentage was higher than 45.27 per cent recorded in 2016 GHMC elections.

Apparently, more number of voters cast their votes in the last one hour. All those standing in queue at 6 p.m. were also allowed to vote.

According to the figures released by the SEC, 35.8 per cent voters had cast votes by 5 p.m.

The polling, which began at 7 a.m., was very dull with only 3.1 per cent turnout by 9 a.m. The polling percentage was 8.9 by 11 a.m., 18.2 by 1 p.m. and 29.76 by 4 p.m.

Overall, the voter indifference marked the polls for the key municipal body.

The poll percentage was higher on the city outskirts than the core city areas. More number of divisions in the old city recorded poor turnout.

Among divisions, Kanchanbagh saw highest turnout at 70.39 per cent while the lowest 32.99 per cent polling was recorded in Yousufguda.

Ramchandrapuram registered 67.71 per cent turnout while it was 65.77 per cent in Patancheruvu.

Among the lowest, Mehdipatnam recorded 34.41 per cent polling and Saidabad 35.77 per cent.

Seventeen divisions saw less than 40 per cent turnout while 37 divisions recorded 50 per cent or more polling.

Long week-end holidays and the Covid-19 pandemic believed to have led to low voter turnout.

As the state government had declared Tuesday a holiday for the GHMC polls, many had turned it to long week-end to leave for their native places.

Many voters left for their native places on Saturday. Holiday on Monday on account of Guru Nanak Jayanti turned into four-day holidays for them.

The fate of 1,122 candidates was sealed in ballot boxes in the bitterly contested elections, which saw a shrill campaign and attracted national attention due to participation by BJP bigwigs including Union Ministers Amit Shah, Prakash Javadekar, Smriti Irani, party chief J.P. Nadda and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The TRS contested all seats while the BJP fielded candidates in 149 divisions, the Congress in 146, the TDP in 106, the MIM in 51, the CPI in 17 and the CPI-M in 12 divisions.

Other recognised parties fielded 76 candidates while 415 independents also tested their political fortunes.

Counting of votes will be taken up on December 4.

–IANS

ms/vd