Hyderabad, Nov 3 (PTI) About 82 per cent polling was recorded on Tuesday in the by-election to the Dubbak Assembly constituency in Telangana which passed off peacefully, though the campaign witnessed a war of words between the ruling TRS and the BJP.
Voting began at 7 AM in the 315 polling stations in the Dubbak constituency (in Siddipet district), around 100 km from here, and it concluded peacefully at 6 PM, official sources said.
Thepoll percentage was 81.44 till 5 PM and the final percentage was being compiled after the polling came to an end, they said.
The administration facilitated voting for COVID-19 patients from 5 PM to 6 PM and 11 people positive for the virus exercised their franchise, the sources said.
The administration provided PPE kits to them.
The sources said 70 positive people opted for postal ballot, while 11 others exercised their franchise out of about 60 patients.
The administration also followed COVID-19 protocol guidelines, including thermal screening, social distancing, wearing of masks and provision of gloves to every voter.
Earlier in the day, the Congress complained to the Election Commission and the state DGP about a social media post, made to appear like the news broadcast of a prominent TV channel, that Congress candidate in the Dubbak bypoll Cheruku Srinivas Reddy switched over to the ruling TRS.
The social media post was aimed at confusing voters and it hurt the party badly, state Congress president and MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy said.
The district administration has made arrangements for the bypoll in compliance with COVID-19 protocol, besides tight security measures.
Though 20 others are also in the fray, the main contest was among the candidates of the TRS, BJP and Congress.
The bypoll has been necessitated by the death of sitting TRS MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy due to health problems in August this year.
The ruling TRS has fielded his widow Solipeta Sujatha as its candidate.
The Congress has fielded Cheruku Srinivas Reddy, who joined the party from TRS, just ahead of the bypoll.
The Congress is banking on the goodwill of Srinivas Reddy's late father Mutyam Reddy, a former minister.
The BJP, meanwhile, has given its ticket to M Raghunandan Rao, who lost in Dubbak in the previous Assembly elections.
The party hopes to ride on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The total number of voters in Dubbak assembly constituency is 1,98,756, including 1,00,778 women and 97,978 men.
The campaign witnessed a war of words between the ruling TRS and opposition BJP over allegations of money being seized from the relatives of the saffron partys candidate.
Counting of votes will be taken up on November 10.
The outcome of the bypoll would give the party that wins, a boost to its morale in the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections.PTI SJR GDK WELCOME GDK WELCOME