High alert in Naxal-affected polling stations
Kothagudem: Polling in all the 999 polling stations spread in Bhadradri Kothagudem district will be completed one hour earlier than the usual time. Out of the 13 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected constituencies in Telangana, five Assembly constituencies; Pinapaka, Bhadrachalam, Kothagudem, Yellandu and Aswaraopet are in the district.
The polling which commences at 7 am will be concluded at 4 pm, the District Collector Rajat Kumar Saini informed here on Thursday. He said all arrangements for the smooth and fair conduct of polls have been made.
According to the Collector, as many as 4,404 polling personnel have been deployed. Kothagudem constituency has got the highest number of polling stations (239) followed by Yellandu (230).
Around 500 polling stations will be monitored by digital surveillance teams. About 300 CCTVs have been installed while webcasting will be done at 130 polling stations. The election process will be monitored by 250 micro-observers.
As many as 8, 65, 886 voters will be casting their vote on Friday. They are 71 candidates in the fray; Pinpaka-16, Kothagudem-17, Bhadrachalam-10, Aswaraopet-12 and Yellandu-16. In Kothagudem two ballot units will be used.
Six polling stations relocated
Six polling stations in Bhadrachalam Assembly constituency have been relocated. The decision was taken following a report by Kothagudem Superintendent of Police Sunil Dutt regarding high Naxal threat as the polling stations’ proximity to Chhattisgarh.
In all, there are 198 Maoist affected polling stations in the district with Bhadrachalam close to the Chhattisgarh borders having the highest number of 122 LWE polling stations. Meanwhile, the police have taken CPI (Maoist) Manuguru-Paloncha areas committee secretary Perunagaram Rupa alias Sujatha into their custody through court. She was arrested and sent to judicial remand in Nov 28 during vehicle inspections near Bhadrachalam.
The SP informed that Sujatha was taken into police custody to gather details regarding Maoist action teams in order to avoid any untoward incidents during the polling. All possible efforts are being made to prevent the Maoists from committing violent acts, he added. He said six companies of paramilitary forces and 3200 police have been deployed to maintain law and order on polling day. The police team includes 12 DSPs, 27 CIs and RIs, besides 300 Home Guards from Chhattisgarh.