Polling began for the first phase of the panchayat elections in Telangana amid tight security. This is the first ever polls for panchayats after the
formation of the state in 2014.
Polling began at 7 a.m and will end at 1 p.m even as counting will be taken up from 2 pm. Though 4,479 panchayats were scheduled to go the polls
in the first phase, the election was declared unanimous in 769 panchayats, and elections to another nine were cancelled due
to other reasons.
As many as 12,202 candidates are contesting for sarpanch posts in 3,701 panchayats while 70,094 candidates are in the fray for 28,976 wards, a senior official of the State Election Commission had earlier said.
Though the elections are held without any involvement of political parties and party symbols, all major political parties have thrown their weight behind their sympathisers concerned.
About 55 ,000 police personnel were deployed for overseeing security arrangements during the poll process, Telangana Additional DG (Law and Order) Jitender told PTI.
The second and third phases of the polls will be held on January 25 and 30.