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Election Commission extends polling hours in T'gana

Election Commission extends polling hours in T'gana

Following representations made by political parties and considering the heat wave conditions gripping Telangana, the Election Commission of India has extended hours of poll for Lok Sabha elections in the state scheduled on May 13.

A gazette notification was issued on Wednesday, increasing the polling time by one hour in 106 Assembly segments under 17 Lok Sabha constituencies.

As per the revised timings, polling in these segments will be held from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., against 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. announced earlier.

However, the polling in 13 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected segments in five Lok Sabha constituencies will conclude at 4 p.m.

The Chief Electoral Officer, Telangana, had made a request to increase the hours of the poll in view of representations received from various political parties/contesting candidates, the prevailing situation of hot summer and heat wave in the state, and to increase voters’ participation.

The EC’s decision to conduct polling only till 5 p.m. in Telangana had come under flak from political parties as most other states, including neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, are having an extra hour till 6 p.m. to vote.

Restricted polling hours in Telangana had baffled the political parties as the ECI has been trying to increase the poll percentage. No reasons were given by the poll panel for this decision.

As intense heatwave conditions are prevailing in Telangana with the mercury at a few places crossing 46 degrees Celsius, there were concerns this may impact the turnout.

Telangana recorded a turnout of 71.34 per cent during the Assembly elections held in December 2023. In the 2018 Assembly elections, 73.73 per cent of voters had cast their votes. However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the turnout dropped to 62.11 per cent.


Tags: Telangana Election Commission