In most places between Hyderabad and Warangal, The infectious enthusiasm among voters led to poll percentages crossing a record 50 per cent by 1 p.m., a fact that many Presiding Officers proudly proclaimed.
Since the time polling booths opened, there were long lines of people and they waited impatiently to cast their ballots and visibly fidgeted, wondering aloud as to how long would a person take to punch a button on the EVM.
Sruthi Reddy, a first-time voter who just finished her second year of engineering course proudly displayed her ink-stained finger at the polling booth in Srinivas High School in Uppal. Nayakamma and Indira Bai, both over 75 years, were as happy as other voters allowed them to vote without standing in line.
The enthusiasm of 80-year-old Nagaiah at the Sivareddyguda booth in Ghatkesar was no less, as he sipped tea that a friendly cop on duty brought for him, after casting his ballot. In all these places, one-thirds of the total votes were polled well before noon.
At Bhongir, the Returning Officer A. Bhaskar pulled up his subordinates for being harsh with voters. Jangaon DSP K. Surender maintained that he had not seen such a turnout, with disciplined voters waiting patiently and polling percentage crossing the halfway mark by 1 p.m. in any earlier election he had covered, be it the local bodies or the 2009 general elections.
TPCC President Ponnala Lakshmaiah, who is seeking re-election from Jangaon, exuded confidence. He said people were intelligent enough to know whom to vote for. Networking with his supporters over phone from his office in Jangaon, he was asking them to be available at their positions near the polling booths till 6 p.m. Though everything was going fine, he said nothing could be left to chance.