Polling was underway amid tight security on Friday for biennial elections to six seats of Telangana Legislative Council from local authority constituencies.
Local body representatives including corporators, councilors, ZPTC and MPTC members were casting their votes in five undivided districts of Adilabad, Karimnagar, Khammam, Medak and Nalgonda.
The polling was on for two seats in Karimnagar district and one each in the remaining four districts.
According to poll officials, a total of 5,326 voters will decide the political fortunes of 26 candidates.
The polling, which began at 8 a.m. at all 37 polling stations in the six constituencies, will continue till 4 p.m. Counting of votes will be taken up on December 14.
State Chief Electoral Officer Shashank Goel said all arrangements were made to ensure free and fair polling. He was monitoring the poll process from Hyderabad. District collectors, police commissioners, superintendents of police and other officials were supervising the arrangements in their respective districts.
The officials were also taking steps to ensure strict adherence to Covid-19 protocol during the polling. They banned mobile phones and cameras in the polling centres.
Facing rebel trouble, ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had shifted its local body members to Bengaluru, Goa, Delhi and other places to prevent the opposition parties from poaching its voters. They were brought to a resort on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Thursday and left for their respective districts on Friday morning.
TRS rebel candidate and former Karimnagar mayor Sardar Ravinder Singh is contesting from one of the seats in Karimnagar district. The BJP is supporting him. Congress candidates are in the fray in Medak, Khammam and Adilabad.
The Election Commission of India had last month issued notification for election to six seats of the Council from local authority constituencies.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha and five other candidates of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) were declared elected unanimously.
Kavitha was elected from Nizamabad constituency. The others who were elected to upper house of the state legislature are Patnam Mahender Reddy, Shambipur Raju (both from Rangareddy district), Pochampally Srinivas Reddy (Warangal), Kasireddy Narayana Reddy and Kuchumalla Damodar Reddy(both from Mahabubnagar district).