Hyderabad, Oct 9 (IANS) Polling was underway on Friday in by-election to a seat of Telangana Legislative Council from Nizamabad Local Authorities Constituency, where Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha is a strong contestant.
The polling began at 9 a.m. at 50 polling centres in the district and will continue till 5 p.m, poll officials said.
Assembly Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy cast his vote at a centre in Banswada. Members of Parliament (MPs), Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and Members of Legislative Council (MLCs), corporators, councilors, ZPTC and MPTC members from the district can cast their votes.
Returning Officer Narayan Reddy said the polling was progressing smoothly. He said 50 polling centres were set up to ensure social distancing in view of COVID-19 pandemic.
The constituency has 824 voters with an overwhelming majority belonging to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).
As the TRS has 598 out of total 824 votes, Kavitha’s election is being seen as a foregone conclusion. However, the TRS leadership cautioned the party leaders against complacency and overconfidence.
Chandrasekhar Rao has directed the party leaders to ensure her victory with a huge margin.
Congress has fielded V. Subhash Reddy while P. Laxminarayana is the BJP candidate.
Kavitha had received a shock defeat at the hands of BJP’s D. Arvind in Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency last year. It was a big blow for the Chief Minister’s daughter who was elected from the same constituency in 2014.
Since then, Kavitha had gone into hibernation and was hardly making public appearances.
The vacancy in the Council caused by disqualification of incumbent R. Bhupathi Reddy provided an opportunity to the TRS leaders to push for Kavitha’s candidature. At the request of party leaders from Nizamabad, KCR agreed to field his daughter.
Bhupathi of the TRS was disqualified after he defected to Congress ahead of the Assembly elections in 2018. He challenged the disqualification but first the High Court and later, the Supreme Court upheld the Legislative Council Chairman’s action.
As per the notification issued by the Election Commission on March 12, the polling was to be held on April 7. However, it was postponed thrice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The counting of votes will be taken up on October 12.