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FLOP POLL: A polling booth wearing a deserted look at Ravindra Naik Nagar in old city of Hyderabad on Monday.
HYDERABAD: Poor response from voters for the first Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections once again reflected the apathy of citizens of the capital towards local body polls. Save for a few minor incidents, polling was peaceful and low turnout was universal across the 150 divisions on Monday.
Chances of a repoll are likely in only one polling station in Defence Colony (135 – polling station 42) because of a complaint over the voters list while two units of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were changed in Marredpally (149 – 25th P.S.) and Musheerabad (91 - seventh P.S.) divisions before the poll began, due to low battery charge.
A police case was filed in Puranapul division (53) following a fracas between a candidate’s relative and a polling agent of another party, said Election Authority and Commissioner S.P. Singh at a press conference he addressed along with District Election Officer M.T. Krishna Babu.
Poll percentage was about 46 per cent and final figure could take some more time since polling was still on in a few polling stations of Serilingampally and Kukatpally divisions, he said.
Elections were conducted in an orderly fashion, said Mr. Singh who complimented everybody involved in the process.
“Our election observers too have not informed us about any major incident. They toured all divisions extensively, especially the sensitive polling stations. They will be submitting their reports to the State Election Commission (SEC),” he said.
Earlier in the day, either empty polling booths or sparse voters were seen in several parts of the twin cities when polling began at 7 a.m. First hour of polling saw only five per cent and it increased to eight per cent in the second hour.
Only by noon did the figure creep up to 18 per cent.
Mr. Krishna Babu said that fewer EVM glitches during the poll is also because mock polling was taken up on Sunday night itself as many reserve polling staff were drafted for work.
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