Despite the fact that the Telangana SEC attracted much criticism
from the Telangana High Court and various senior leaders, including from Congress leader
and former minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir, for deciding to hold municipal elections in the state in the midst of the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the body today carried out the polling for the elections in two municipal corporations and five municipalities.
State Election Commissioner C Parthasarathi, who had maintained that the elections would not be postponed
, said that the elections were held in keeping with all the Covid-19 safety norms, and that the polling had gone off smoothly.
In a video conference with the concerned officials, the SEC stated that the elections for the Warangal, Khammam, Nakirekal, Siddipet, Jadcherla, Achampet and Kothur ULBs were held from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
He added, "Aside from the strict implementation of Covid-19 safety norms, webcasting and police security arrangements were made at all the polling stations to ensure that the elections were carried out in a fair manner. Out of a total of 11,26,221 voters, around 30 to 50% came to cast their votes in Warangal and Khammam and the five municipalities by 3:00 pm. 1,539 polling stations had been set up for the elections."
The clarification comes after the Telangana High Court rebuked both the state government and election body for organising the local body elections during the protocols. It and smooth counting ahead on May 3.
"Should elections be held even during natural calamities like earthquakes, and in situations of conflict? Are the SEC officials even monitoring the pandemic situation at the field level across the poll-bound regions? The body should reflect on what the rush to hold the ULB elections was. The elections tomorrow may well turn into super-spreaders of the pandemic," the HC had fumed.
The counting of the votes will commence on May 3.