Nizamabad in Telangana has been in the focus recently as it has the highest number of candidates i.e 185, contesting in the Lok Sabha polls. This excess of candidates is due to the 178 farmers who had jumped into the fray to support their demand for a remunerative price for turmeric and red sorghum and for setting up of a Turmeric Board based in Nizamabad.
As polling got underway in Telangana for all 17 Lok Sabha constituencies on Thursday, Nizamabad with its large number of candidates has necessitated the deployment 12 EVMs in each booth.
"This is the first time in the world where elections are conducted with such a large number of candidates using (such a large number of) EVMs," said Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) President and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter K Kavitha is seeking re-election from here. She is facing TRS Rajya Sabha member D Srinivas's son D Arvind as her BJP opponent while Congress has fielded while AICC Secretary Madhu Yashki Goud against her. Kavitha along with her husband Anil have cast their vote in Potangal village in Bodhan Assembly constituency on Thursday.
Blaming the BJP, she had said it was the Centre which should take initiative for setting up the Turmeric Board. On the other hand, the contesting farmers have alleged that the TRS government failed to ensure minimum support price for turmeric and red sorghum produce and in getting Turmeric Board established.
While voting began at 7 a.m in other constituencies, it commenced in Nizamabad an hour later as planned due to mock polling in view of the 185 candidates in the fray and deployment of 12 EVMs per booth and are coupled in series and attached to a control unit in inverted 'L' shape. The Election Commission is using M3 type EVMs which can support up to 24 Balloting Units (BU) with each BU holding 24 names.
In a normal situation, the EC drafts 15 to 16 engineers in a constituency, for troubleshooting, whereas for Nizamabad it has kept as many as 600 engineers. Rajat Kumar had earlier said an additional helicopter would be kept ready in case if any machines have to be airlifted. Over 26,000 ballot Units, 2,200 control units and about 26,000 VVPATs are being used for Nizamabad constituency.
(With agency inputs)