Ballot papers will be used for polling in Telangana’s Nizamabad constituency instead of electronic voting machines as 185 candidates are contesting for the seat, reported Hindustan Times. Polling will be held in the state in the first phase of elections on April 11.
Electronic voting machines can only be used for a maximum of 64 candidates, according to IANS. Spokesperson of the Election Commission, Sheyphali Sharan, said ballot papers will be printed after the Returning Officer sends Form 7A, which is the list of candidates.
Sharan said ballot papers were used in the state in 1996 and 2010 and in the gram panchayat elections held in January. “As such there will be no difficulty in conducting elections in Nizamabad,” Sharan said.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter, Kalvakuntla Kavitha, is seeking a re-election from the seat. Madhu Yashki Goud of the Congress and Dharmapuri Aravind of the Bharatiya Janata Party are the other main contenders. At least 178 farmers, who cultivate turmeric and red jowar, filed nominations as independents to highlight their demand for remunerative price for their crops.
Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar said 185 candidates remained in the fray for the seat as the deadline for withdrawal of nominations closed at 4 pm on Thursday. “More than 200 nominations were filed till the last date on March 25 and after rejection of some of the nominations during scrutiny, as many as 189 candidates remained in the contest,” Kumar said. “Of them, four contestants withdrew their papers.”
Kumar said they are awaiting instructions from the Election Commission regarding the use of ballot papers. Kumar said he did not know how many days it would take to print the ballot papers. “First we have to allot symbols to all the contestants,” he said, according to Hindustan Times. “We should also make the arrangements for procurement of ballot boxes. The EC will take care of all the logistic arrangements.”