Presidential election: Polling underway in Hyderabad, Amaravati

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Polling was underway for Presidential elections in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Monday.

Members of Telangana Legislative Assembly and Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly began casting their votes at their respective Assembly buildings in Hyderabad and Amaravati respectively.

The polling began at 10 a.m. under tight security arrangements and will continue till 5 p.m.

In Hyderabad, all 119 members of Telangana Assembly and one MLA from Andhra Pradesh are likely to cast their votes. Officials said 174 MLAs of Andhra Pradesh will cast their votes in Amaravati.

Elaborate arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the polling at both the polling centres.

Barring three MLAs of BJP, all members in Telangana are expected to cast their votes for Yashwant Sinha, the joint candidate of opposition parties. Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), its friendly Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) and opposition Congress party have declared support for Sinha.

TRS has 103 MLAs in Telangana. MIM’s tally is seven while Congress has six members.

Telangana ministers and TRS MLAs were the first to arrive at the Assembly building to cast their votes. As the clock struck 10, TRS working president and state minister K.T. Rama Rao along with other ministers and MLAs reached the Assembly building.

In Andhra Pradesh, all votes are likely to go to NDA candidate Darupadi Murmu. Both the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have announced their support for Murmu.

YSRCP has 151 members in the 175-member Assembly. Four MLAs of TDP and the lone member of actor politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena who switched loyalties to YSRCP will also extend support to the NDA candidate. All 19 MLAs of TDP will also back Murmu.

All the MPs of TRS, MIM, Congress, BJP, YSRCP and TDP will cast their votes in Parliament.

All the parties have taken measures to ensure that none of their legislators abstain and also vote in the prescribed format to avoid their votes becoming invalid.

TRS is holding mock polling for its MLAs at its headquarters Telangana Bhavan before they leave for Assembly to cast their votes.

Observers appointed by the Election Commission of India for both the Telugu states were supervising the poll process.

Krishna Kumar Dwivedi, the observer for Telangana, visited the polling station and store room situated on the first floor of the Assembly building to take stock of the arrangements.

According to Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj, two voting compartments have been readied at Committee Hall No. 1 in the Assembly Building.

Chandraker Bharti, who has been appointed observer for Andhra Pradesh, was supervising the polling process

The Commission has supplied particular pens which will be given to the electors along with the ballot paper in the polling station. Marking the ballot only with any other pen shall lead to invalidation of the vote at the time of counting.

The officials brought ballot boxes, ballot papers and other poll material from Delhi. After the completion of the polling, ballot boxes will be sealed and transported to the national capital.

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