Over 75 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the first phase of rural body elections in Telangana on Monday amid tight security, officials said.
No untoward incident was reported during polling in 2,097 Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MTPCs) and 195 Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTCs). The candidates for 69 MPTCs and 2 ZPTCs were elected unopposed.
Election Commission officials said that polling through ballot paper began at 7 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m. In the Maoist-infested areas in five districts, polling came to an end at 4 p.m. The turnout in these areas was about 70 per cent.
Elections to the rural local bodies are being held for the first time since the formation of Telangana in 2014.
Following its massive victory in the Assembly elections held in December 2018 and after sweeping the gram panchayat polls in January this year, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is aiming at another electoral victory while it is also confident of making a clean sweep of the Lok Sabha elections held on April 10.
For ZPTC elections, a total of 882 candidates are in the fray. TRS and the opposition Congress are contesting 195 and 190 seats, respectively. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also fielded 171 candidates.
According to the Election Commission, 7,072 candidates are in fray for the MPTC polls.
The state poll panel deployed over 1.5 lakh personnel for the smooth conduct of the elections. Security arrangements were also made to ensure peaceful polling.
The second and third phase of the elections will be held on May 10 and 14.
State Election Commissioner V. Nagi Reddy said over 1.56 crore voters are eligible to cast their franchise in the elections to 5,817 MPTCs and 538 ZPTCs over all the three phases.
The counting of votes will take place on May 27.
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