(Eds: Updates story) Hyderabad, Mar 14 (PTI) Nearly 60 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the keenly-fought elections to Telangana Legislative Council from two Graduates' constituencies on Sunday.
Voting began at 8 AM and concluded at 4 PM for the Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar-Rangareddy- Hyderabad Graduates' constituencies. The polling was by and large peaceful, official sources said.
The approximate poll percentage up to 4 PM in Warangal- Khammam-Nalgonda constituency was 64.70, while it was 59.96 in the Mahabubnagar-Rangareddy-Hyderabad seat, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shashank Goel said in a release.
The final percentage would be known after polling gets completed in all polling stations, he said.
Jumbo ballot boxes and big-sized ballot papers were used for polling in view of the large number of candidates in fray.
As many as 93 candidates were in the fray from Mahabubnagar-Rangareddy-Hyderabad constituency, while 71 nominees contested from the Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda constituency.
Over 10 lakh graduates were eligible to exercise their franchise in preferential method at 1,530 polling stations.
The war of words witnessed during the campaign for the elections from the two Graduates' constituencies between the ruling TRS, and opposition BJP and Congress continued on Sunday as well.
AICC spokesperson Sravan Dasoju alleged that ruling TRS indulged in widespread violations during the election.
He demanded action against the alleged violators.
Accusing state Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali of divulging the name of the candidate for whom he cast his vote, Dasoju sought action against the minister.
He criticised the Chief Electoral Officer for allegedly turning a blind eye to the TRS' violations.
'Is CEO, Telangana blind or surrendered to the ruling TRS party to allow brazen display of party flags, caps and scarfs at various polling booths, which is a sheer violation of election rules and model code of conduct,' Dasoju said in a release.
State BJP president and MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar alleged that the party nominee from Nalgonda-Khammam-Warangal seat G Premender Reddy was attacked in Mahabubabad district.
State Women and Child Welfare Minister Satyavati Rathod, who thanked the voters for turning up in large numbers, alleged that BJP leaders indulged in cheap politics in Mahabubabad to gain votes by sympathy, having sensed defeat.
The CEO told reporters that Election Commission's decision would be followed on the issues raised by parties vis-a-vis Mahmood Ali.
The TRS made a determined bid to win the two Council seats and deployed state ministers, MPs and other leaders for the campaign in view of the unexpected setbacks in the Dubbak Assembly seat bypoll and Hyderabad civic polls late last year.
In a surprise move, TRS fielded former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao's daughter S Vani Devi, an educationist and artist, as its candidate from Mahabubnagar-Rangareddy- Hyderabad Graduates'' constituency.
Sitting MLC and BJP leader N Ramachander Rao, however, put up a spirited campaign.
Union MoS (Home) G Kishan Reddy, and other leaders canvassed for the BJP nominee.
Rama Rao, who spearheaded the TRS' campaign, attacked the BJP over the NDA government allegedly not implementing the promises made to Telangana at the time of bifurcation of undivided Andhra Pradesh and allegedly not providing two crore jobs in the country every year as promised.
The BJP sought to corner the ruling TRS for allegedly neglecting the education sector and not providing jobs as promised, among others.
The Mahabubnagar-Rangareddy-Hyderabad constituency too witnessed fierce contest with former minister G Chinna Reddy (Congress), TDP's Telangana unit president L Ramana and former MLC K Nageshwar, a prominent analyst, also in the fray.
The TRS fielded sitting MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy from Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda Graduates' constituency, while the BJP candidate is G Premender Reddy.
Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) leader M Kodandaram is in the fray from the constituency.
The counting of votes would be taken up on March 17. PTI SJR ROH ROH