Lowest in the Assembly constituency since 1957

A dismal voter turnout in the by-election to Adilabad Assembly constituency on Sunday came as a surprise to political parties and observers who had expected polling to be in excess of 70 per cent. The enthusiasm among voters fuelled by a strong Telangana sentiment was seemingly negated by the large number of weddings scheduled during the day in terms of voter turnout which was tentatively pegged at 60 per cent.

This is the lowest polling percentage in this constituency since the 1957 Assembly elections, the first to be held in reconstituted Andhra Pradesh. Polling recorded in all subsequent elections, including the last one held in 2009, was in excess of 65 per cent.

Lesser number of urban voters reached their polling stations when compared to their counterparts in rural areas. Most of the polling stations wore a deserted look since afternoon as turnout of voters had dried up.

The trend of dull voting was seen since the early hours of polling itself. The first two hours saw only nine per cent of voters casting their vote.

Voting looked to have picked up in the next two hours which accounted for 22 per cent of it. The turnout fell between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. as day temperatures rose to a maximum of 40 degree Celsius only to be pegged at 51 per cent.

All three main candidates, Jogu Ramanna of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), C. Ramchandra Reddy of Congress and Payila Shankar of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) expressed confidence of winning the by-election. They foresaw the margin of respective victory to be in the vicinity of 10,000 votes.

Meanwhile, barring a few complaints of missing names from voter lists, polling passed off peacefully. Karimnagar Range Deputy Inspector General of Police Sanjay Kumar Jain, DEO and Collector A. Ashok and Superintendent of Police S. Tripathi monitored the elections.

‘Incident-free' polling

Mahabubnagar Correspondent writes: Polling to by-elections in three assembly segments in the district went off peacefully barring some stray incidents.

Collector and District Election Officer M. Purushotham Reddy told The Hindu that as many as 70 per cent of voters in Mahabubnagar segment and over 65 per cent of voters in Nagarkurnool and around 60 percent voters in Kollapur constituency exercised their voting right.

He described the polling in three segments as ‘incident-free'. He said that though some EVMs developed technical snags, they were rectified within minutes and polling continued without much disturbance.

According to official sources, there were skirmishes between Congress and Nagam Janardhan Reddy followers at Telkapally town. At policeline polling station in Mahabubnagar, there was protest from voters when a polling officer insisted on voter slips.

At Appannapally village of Mahabubnagar mandal, over 200 women stayed away from voting as their group leader took money for voting on behalf of them from the Congress leaders.