Warangal, Nov 21: About 40 per cent polling was reported till noon in the by-election to Warangal (SC) Lok Sabha constituency in Telangana on Saturday. Over 27 per cent polling was reported till 11 AM and 40 per cent by noon, Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwarlal told reporters.
The voting began amid tight security arrangements at 7 AM and it would continue till 5 PM. No untoward incident has been reported in the constituency, where 1,778 polling stations have been set up.
As many as 23 candidates are in fray for the bypoll, necessitated following the resignation of sitting TRS MP K Srihari after he became the state's Deputy Chief Minister. The main contest is among the ruling TRS candidate P Dayakar, former Union Minister Sarve Satyanarayana (Congress), BJP's P Devaiah on behalf the BJP-TDP combine and YSRCP's N Suryaprakash.
Keen on retaining the seat, the TRS appointed state ministers as in-charges in Assembly segments falling under the Warangal LS constituency and put up an aggressive campaign. TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao addressed a public meeting in support of the party candidate.
The Congress, which sought to salvage its prestige after the drubbing in last year's election despite "delivering" on the separate statehood demand, suffered an early setback with its candidate S Rajaiah landing in jail following the deaths in mysterious circumstances of his daughter-in-law and three children at his home in Warangal.
Rajaiah withdrew his candidature and Satyanarayana became the Congress nominee. The counting of votes would take place on November 24.