Polling begins in Telangana to elect new Assembly

Hyderabad: Polling began in Telangana at 7 a.m. on Friday amid tight security to elect a new Assembly.

The polling will be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in 106 constituencies, while in 13 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected constituencies, the polling will conclude at 4 p.m.

Around 2.8 crore voters will decide the fate of 1,821 candidates in the first election after Telangana was formed.

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is facing a resurgent Congress-led People’s Front in its bid for a second term.

The TRS government dissolved the Assembly about eight months ahead of the schedule in the hope of taking the Opposition parties by surprise but the Congress threw a surprise by coming up with an alliance in a bid to oust the ruling party.

For the 119-member Telangana assembly where the Congress has tied up with rivals TDP, CPI and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), a new party floated by M. Kodandaram, who was once Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s friend in the Telangana movement.

Telangana has 51,796 polling stations, an increase of 14.25 per cent over the previous election in 2013.