Hyderabad: The stage is set for the bypoll to the Nagarjunasagar Assembly constituency, with voting slated on Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm. Stakes are high for all three major parties, the TRS, the Congress and the BJP, though the chances are clearly not equal on polling eve.
The TRS, which managed to put the brakes on the BJP’s winning march by wresting a Legislative Council seat from the saffron party and retaining another seat recently, is keen to continue its winning streak and retain the Nagarjunasagar seat. It is hoping that Nomula Bhagat, son of deceased MLA Nomula Narasimhaiah, will make his legislative debut shortly.
The Congress is making all the efforts to regain its lost bastion, Nagarjunasagar, from where its candidate K. Jana Reddy created a record by winning seven times. The party has recieved good response from the people during its campaign, in which several leaders participated, but is waiting for actual voting to figure out if it can manage a win.
The BJP, whose Mission 2023 received a jolt with the defeat in MLC polls. has fielded a lightweight, Dr P. Ravi Kumar. It is aiming to repeat the feat of the Dubbak Assembly bypoll, where it wrested a seat from the TRS and set a narrative of being the only viable alternative in Telangana state.
As many as 2,20,196 voters, comprising 1,09,128 male and 1,11,068 female voters, will decide the fate of 41 candidates in the fray. Two EVMs will be used in each polling booth to accommodate the 41 candidates. There are 8,151 postal ballot votes, of which 1,433 votes have already been posted.
The Election Commission has made wearing of masks mandatory for all voters and polling staff in the 346 polling booths. The EC has made elaborate security arrangements for the smooth conduct of the election by deploying 2,390 security personnel, comprising three companies of Central Armed Police Forces, numbering 290, TS Special Police 12th Battalion numbering 50.
Webcasting will be done from 210 polling booths while 130 micro observers, 44 sector officers and 44 route officers were appointed to monitor the polling process. Covid patients will be allowed to vote after 6 pm. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.