Thousands from Hyderabad head to Andhra Pradesh for voting

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Thousands of people from Hyderabad are heading home to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh on Saturday to cast their votes in the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls scheduled on May 13.

Buses and trains were crowded with families who were on their way to their hometowns to participate in the polling process.

Cars, buses and other transport vehicles queued up at toll plazas on Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway as many families left for their native places in their cars or other vehicles.

Voters from various towns and villages in Andhra Pradesh and also in Telangana started leaving on Friday evening for an extended week-end.

About 12 lakh voters of Andhra Pradesh origin reside in Hyderabad. They are likely to travel on Saturday and Sunday to reach their destinations to participate in balloting.

Such a large number of people travel from Hyderabad to Andhra Pradesh only on the occasion of the Sankranti festival.

Elections for 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh and 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana are scheduled on May 13.

As the polling day is preceded by Saturday and Sunday, the techies employed by various companies in Hyderabad started leaving early to spend time with their near and dear ones before casting their ballots.

Railway and bus stations in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and outskirts were packed with passengers heading to their destinations.

A huge rush of passengers was seen at Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) and Jubilee Bus Station. The buses for Andhra Pradesh are also being operated from places like LB Nagar, Aramghar, Kukatpally and other points.

Though the authorities are operating additional buses and special trains, they are proving inadequate to clear the huge rush.

Buses of both Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) were jam-packed with passengers.

Passengers travelling to Vijayawada, Guntur, Kurnool, Visakhapatnam and other places in Andhra Pradesh had already reserved their tickets in about 400 buses of APSRTC.

Cashing in on the situation, the private bus operators have doubled or even tripled the bus fares on popular routes.

The TSRTC is operating about 2,000 additional buses in view of the huge rush.

Mahalakshmi, the free travel facility for women in TSRTC buses in Telangana, added to the rush with families leaving early for their destinations within the state to exercise their franchise.

The South Central Railway is operating special trains from Secunderabad and Kacheguda stations to clear the rush. It has also arranged additional coaches for scheduled trains.

Major political parties and their candidates in Andhra Pradesh are making all efforts to convince those registered as voters in their native places but living in Hyderabad to come and cast their votes. They bear expenses for their travel and also offer some money.

Some political parties have been raising the issue of some people registering themselves as voters in both the Telugu states. The Election Commission has taken certain measures to remove duplicate voters with strict scrutiny.

Officials said polling on the same day in both states will address the concerns of certain political parties over duplicate voters.

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