Huzurabad: Polling was underway amid tight security in the by-election to the Huzurabad Assembly constituency on Saturday. Voters are turning up in good numbers to cast their votes and poll percentage of 76.26 per cent was recorded till 5 pm against a total 2.37 lakh voters. The polling which began at 7 am, will continue till 7 pm.
TRS candidate Gellu Srinivas Yadav, BJP candidate Eatala Rajender and other candidates have cast their votes. While Srinivas Yadav had cast his vote at a polling station in Himmathnagar of Veenavanka mandal, Rajender exercised his voting right at a polling booth in Kandula village of Huzurabad mandal.
Excluding sporadic incidents of clashes between the TRS and the BJP, the polling is being held in a peaceful manner. Voters queues up at the polling stations since 7 am onwards across the constituency. At a couple of places, the TRS and the BJP entered into heated arguments accusing each other of violating the model code of conduct and also trying to influence the voters.
TRS leader Padi Kaushik Reddy who is the chief election agent for the party candidate Gellu Srinivas Yadav, stated that the BJP leaders were trying to create an insecure atmosphere unnecessarily and were obstructing him at several polling stations, though he was authorised by the Election Commission of India (ECI) to visit all polling station as the chief election agent for TRS. Though Kaushik Reddy contested from the constituency during the previous elections in December 2018 on behalf of Congress party, the BJP leaders termed him as an outsider.
In all, 30 candidates are in fray in the bypolls, which were necessitated following resignation of Eatala Rajender after he was dropped from the State Cabinet following allegations of land grabbing. Elaborate arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the polling. Over 3,800 police personnel along with 20 companies of central forces have been deployed in this regard. Arrangements also have been made for polling agents to get a Covid-19 test done. District collector and election officer R V Karnan inspected the facilities at various polling stations.
The TRS had lodged a complaint with the ECI alleging that Eatala Rajender and his wife Jamuna had violated the model code of conduct and address a press meet during the 72-hour silent period to be observed till the polling concludes. The TRS leaders also complained against two vernacular news channels for live telecasting the press meet.
Meanwhile, the police have seized three vehicles belonging to Eatala Rajender and also arrested his PRO Chaitanya for allegedly trying to spread false news on the social media, stating that the State government would stop Rythu Bandhu for paddy farmers. The police responded to a complaint lodged by Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy in this regard.