Battle among 71 candidates

Over 1.29 lakh voters in the old undivided Khammam district are expected to exercise their franchise in the high-stakes Legislative Council election to the Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda Graduates constituency on Sunday.

In all, a total of 5,05,565 electors across the large constituency spread over 34 Assembly constituencies in as many as 12 districts, including Khammam and Bhadradri-Kothagudem, will decide the electoral fortunes of as many as 71 candidates in the fray.

The voters’ strength in the Graduates constituency has increased from a little over 2.81 lakh in the last MLC elections to more than 5.05 lakh in this election, sources said.

The constituency is witnessing a keen electoral battle among a total of 71 candidates including the TRS’s sitting MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, the Congress party’s S Ramulu Naik, the CPI-CPI (M)’s Jayasaradhi Reddy, the TJS’s M. Kodandaram, the BJP’s G Premender Reddy, the TIP’s Cheruku Sudhakar, the YTP’s G Rani Rudrama and the AAP’s N Tirumala Rao besides independent contestants including Teenmar Mallanna.

Meanwhile, elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure smooth conduct of the MLC election in as many as 127 polling stations in Khammam district and 62 in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district on Sunday.

In Khammam district, around 750 police personnel will oversee the security arrangements to prevent untoward incidents. Mobile teams and flying squads have been constituted as part of a comprehensive bandobust plan.

Collector R.V. Karnan along with Additional Collector N. Madhusudhan visited the Distribution Centre at SR&BGNR Government Degree and PG College here on Saturday.

He reviewed the process of distribution of polling materials, including jumbo size ballot papers and ballot boxes, to the election staff.

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