Ballot papers to be used in remaining five; 213 papers of independents rejected

The option of deploying electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the ensuing Assembly byelections in the Telangana region became available to the Election Commission following the rejection of as many as 213 nomination papers of independents during scrutiny on Saturday.

As a result, the number of nominations in six out of the 12 constituencies fell below 64, the maximum number that can be handled by the EVMs. The scrutiny was conducted by central observers deputed by the Election Commission after the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) asked hundreds of its partymen to file nominations as a ploy to pre-empt the use of EVMs, which, it feels, can be tampered with. This had swelled the number of candidates to 926. The number of nominations in Nizamabad (Urban) constituency was below 64 even before this exercise was undertaken. Consequently, EVMs are likely to be used in Nizamabad (14 nominations), Sirpur (55), Chennur-SC (60), Mancherial (49), Dharmapuri-SC (61), Vemulawada (42) and Siddipet (45).

In the remaining five constituencies, polling will be conducted with ballot papers as the number of nominations remained above 64 after scrutiny. They are Yellareddy (75), Koratla (68), Sircilla (79), Huzurabad (72) and Warangal West (93).

Final decisionon Monday

Chief Electoral Officer I.V. Suibba Rao reiterated that a final decision on this issue would be taken by the Election Commission only on July 12, the last date for withdrawal, when a clearer picture would emerge about the number of candidates in fray.

Keywords: Telangana bypollsEVMsTRS