HYDERABAD: Voters turned out in large numbers for the Huzurnagar byelection on Monday. Till 5 pm, 84.15% of the voters had already cast their vote and there were long queues outside many polling stations. Suryapet district election officials expected voting to cross the 86% recorded in the 2018 assembly polls.
Winning the Huzurnagar seat is important for both TRS and Congress. If TRS wins the seat, as most local exit polls are predicting it to, the party will see it as an endorsement of its policies in chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s second term. The Congress, on the other hand, would like to retain the seat as a win would be a morale booster after a dismal performance in the 2018 assembly elections followed by defection of 12 of its 19 MLAs.
The BJP is looking to improve its vote tally from 2018 and also expand its base as a way of showing that the four Lok Sabha seats it won in May was not a fluke. Meanwhile, TDP is trying to again make its presence felt in Telangana after being wiped out by TRS in 2018.
Just about 12 EVMs malfunctioned during polling on Monday which were replaced. Telangana chief electoral officer Dr Rajat Kumar said liquor seizures this time were more than previous elections.
The Huzurnagar assembly constituency seat fell vacant as Telangana Pradesh Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy resigned as MLA after winning the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Nalgonda. Out of 28 contesting candidates, the fight was between Congress and TRS. Uttam’s wife Padmavati contested on the Congress ticket against TRS’s Saidi Reddy.
The Election Commission of India has kept a continuous watch on the polls and Special Election Expenditure Observer was appointed following the complaints filed by opposition parties.
Meanwhile, some surveys and exit polls have stated that TRS would win by securing over 50% of votes.