Amid poll boycott call given by the CPI (Maoist), the polling in Bhadrachalam ST reserved Assembly constituency began under a tight security cover and aerial surveillance.

The voting percentage in the first two hours up to 9 am stood at 15 percent in Bhadrachalam Assembly constituency.

The constituency has a long border with the trouble torn areas of the neighbouring Chhattisgarh State. It has the highest number of over 150 extremist affected polling stations.

An IAF helicopter has been kept ready in Bhadrachalam temple town to deal with any exigency. An air ambulance has been positioned at the airport in Rajahmundry in the neighbouring East Godavari district as part of an election contingency plan.

The aerial surveillance support services of two Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will be accessed to ensure peaceful conduct of the general elections in the Bhadrachalam Agency, said A V Ranganath, Superintendent of Police, Khammam.

No untoward incidents have been reported from anywhere in the bordering villages so far, he said adding that a three-layer security cover has been provided to the polling stations categorised as extremist affected in the district, he said.

Two command and control centres had been set up in Kothagudem and Khammam to monitor the security arrangements and deploy striking forces if the situation warranted.