Hyderabad, Jun 1: Polling is underway to fill six vacancies in the Telangana Legislative Council for which seven candidates are the fray.
Polling began this morning in the Legislative Assembly buildings while the counting of votes would be taken up in the evening.
TDP, which sought postponement of the election and had written to the Chief Election Commissioner alleging that the ruling TRS is adopting unethical practices to lure its MLAs, also participated in the election.
The ruling TRS has fielded five candidates, while opposition Congress and the TDP-BJP combine have fielded one candidate each. TRS appeared to have an edge to get its fifth candidate elected as it is banking on the support of parties like MIM and YSR Congress.
TRS had won 63 seats in the 120-member Assembly (including a nominated MLA) in last year's elections, but several MLAs from Congress, TDP and YSR Congress joined the ruling party subsequently.
The Opposition parties have filed disqualification petitions against such MLAs. The TRS is now said to be enjoy the backing of 77 MLAs, including TDP MLA M Krishna Rao who reportedly pledged support to the ruling party last week.
TRS can get its four nominees elected comfortably with the support of 77 MLAs with about 17 first preference votes required to win. But it is dependent on MIM (seven MLAs) and other parties for its fifth nominee to sail through.
Telangana IT and Panchayat Raj Minister K T Rama Rao had spoken to leaders of MIM, CPI, CPI(M) and also YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy seeking their support to get the fifth candidate elected.
YSR Congress declared its support to TRS in the election. Congress is expected to win a seat as it has adequate strength in the Assembly. The TDP nominee may find the going tough with its strength having depleted.
TDP had won 15 seats in the elections last year. The five-member BJP will support its ally TDP.
Meanwhile, the council election is marred by the arrest of TDP MLA A Revant Reddy yesterday on charges of trying to bribe a nominated MLA.
Revant Reddy, who has been sent to judicial custody, too participated in the election after being allowed by the court to exercise his franchise.