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Campaign for Andhra Pradesh bypolls ends

Curtains came down on Sunday on campaign for by-elections to the 12 Assembly constituencies in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, scheduled to be held on Tuesday.



Hyderabad: Curtains came down on Sunday on
campaign for by-elections to the 12 Assembly constituencies in
Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, scheduled to be held on
Tuesday.

The campaign has ended at 5 pm, so the contesting
candidates should not organise any public meetings any more,
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) I V Subba Rao said.

The campaign for the bypolls, necessitated by the
resignation of the 12 sitting MLAs in support of separate
Telangana demand, centred around the same issue. Ten MLAs
among those who quit were from TRS and one each from TDP and
BJP.

Faced with the challenge of retaining the seats where its
MLAs quit, the TRS has harped on the separate statehood demand
by projecting its legislators as martyrs who sacrificed their
posts for the sake of Telangana.

The ruling Congress and main opposition TDP also played
the Telangana card by asserting that only they were sincere
towards the demand.

The campaign has witnessed heated war of words between
TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao and state Congress president
D Srinivas, who is contesting from Nizamabad Urban. Both have
been pulled up by the Election Commission for violating the
model code of conduct on different counts.

Polling will be held on Tuesday from 7 am to 5 pm and the
Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements to
ensure a free and fair balloting, Rao said.

As the campaigning has come to an end, liquor sales
will not be allowed and all those leaders who have come from
outside for electioneering should leave, the CEO said.

As many as 23.5 lakh voters would exercise their
franchise at 2,783 polling stations in the 12 seats and a
total number of 435 candidates are in the fray.

For the first time-ever in the country since 1998,
ballot papers would be used in five of the 12 constituencies
as the number of contesting candidates has exceeded the
maximum limit of 64. With the existing technology, the EVMs
cannot function if the total number of nominees exceeds 64.

Accordingly, 20 lakh ballot papers have been printed
and 1,500 ballot boxes would be used.

The CEO said 15,000 polling personnel would be on duty,
while 68,000 policemen would provide security.

Among the 2,783 polling stations, 460 and 450 polling
stations have been identified as sensitive and hyper-sensitive
respectively from the law and order perspective, he said.

The CEO has appointed a videographer for a "polling
location" that comprises three or four polling stations and he
has also decided to provide 3G mobile phones to Zonal Officers
in Nizamabad and Warangal to obtain quick video footage on
polling pattern and related developments.

A mock-polling exercise would precede the actual polling
to ensure that all EVMs are functioning in a fool-proof
manner, Subba Rao said.

The counting of votes would be taken up on July 30 at
12 centres and the crucial exercise begins at 8 am, he added.

PTI

From Zee News

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