HYDERABAD: Unlike in its sibling state of AP, where a lot of blood was shed, polling for the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana went off peacefully on Thursday, but the only discordant note was that the polling percentage was 60.57, which was 10 per cent less than it was in 2014 and 13 per cent less than in the Assembly elections in December last year.
Election officials were taken aback by the steep drop, which is attributed to several factors, including a large chunk of the Hyderabad and Rangareddy population leaving for their hometowns in Andhra to vote and spend time with their families as they had a string of holidays. Another reason for better polling in 2014 is that the elections were held when the state still remained one technically.
The polling percentage of 60.57 may go up by a percentage point or two, since polling continued till late in the evening, since the Election Commission ordered that those left on the premises of polling stations, particularly those in Nizamabad, would get to vote even after the 6 pm deadline. The polling process there took long because 185 candidates were in the fray.
Authorities used 21,456 EVMs in about 1,788 polling stations. As many as 12 EVMs were used in each booth in Nizamabad.
In the last Assembly elections, the polling percentage was the highest at 73.20, with most Andhra voters living in Hyderabad enthusiastically taking part in polling.
“I have come across media reports that a number of people went to AP to cast their votes, and felt the percentage recorded was satisfactory as the remaining voters in Hyderabad came in larger numbers to vote,” Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar said.
Guinness World Record for most EVMs used in a poll?
The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer has written to the Guinness Book of World Records, seeking to include the polls at Nizamabad, for the use of the largest number of EVMs. With 185 candidates, 12 EVMs were used there in each booth
CEO all praise for officials, tech staff at Nizamabad
The team at Nizamabad, including security personnel and technical staff from BEL and ECIL, deserve a special mention for ensuring smooth conduct of the elections, said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajat Kumar