In what can be called as the last stage of elections saga in Telangana, voting for 120 municipalities and nine municipal corporations has begun on Wednesday. After the Assembly, Sarpanch, APTC and JPTC elections, these municipal elections took prominence with the shock given to the ruling TRS by the voters in Lok Sabha elections. A total of 12,843 candidates are in foray from TRS, BJP, Congress and other parties in Telangana. Though TRS has an edge of being in power, neither Chief Minister KCR or the minister KTR snubbed the election with the opposition Congress and BJP giving a commendable fight. In a first-of-its-kind in India, the Telangana State Election Commission will be using facial recognition app in a bid to counter impersonation by voters on a pilot basis in 10 selected polling stations. About 1,240 scrutiny officers are deployed and Section 144 is imposed near polling stations across the state.
Despite the Election Commission deploying over 55,000 policemen to avoid untoward incidents at the polling stations, incidents of minor clashes between the supporters of TRS and Congress were registered. 10 women who were suspected of rigging were taken into custody in Nizamabad by the Two Town police. Minor scuffles between the supporters at the polling booths were registered at Manikonda, Narasapur, Jalpally, and Parakala which later subsided with the interference of the police.
Meanwhile, a few of the polling centres registered cases over political parties indulging in distributing money to the voters. While the videos of representatives of certain political parties openly distributing alcohol and money surfaced online till yesterday, it continued on the day of the elections also. Surprisingly, it was reported that a few of the supporters at the polling booths are luring the voters by sending money through various payment wallets and UPI platforms like PayTm, PhonePe and Google Pay giving a tough time for police.