Hyderabad, November 30: Voters queued up in good numbers on Thursday across Telangana to seal the fate of nearly 2,500 MLA aspirants in the polling being held for 119 Assembly segments in the state, where the BRS aims to retain power for a third time while the Congress is keen to upset the ruling party's chances.

The BJP, also keen on forming its first government in the southern state, has left no stone unturned to ensure victory and had deployed a battery of national leaders and Chief Ministers of the saffron-party-ruled states to reach out to the public during the 50-day-long campaigning. Telangana Assembly Elections 2023: Voter Turnout Recorded Over 20% Till 11 AM, Informs Election Commission (Watch Videos).

The BRS has been in the ruling saddle since 2014, following grant of statehood to Telangana. As of 1 PM on Thursday, 36.68 per cent voters had cast their votes, Election Commission officials said. Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj told reporters polling was peaceful, except for minor skirmishes at one or two places. Observing that voter turnout was low in urban areas, he hoped it would pick up as the day progressed. EVMs had to be changed at a couple of places, he added.

As many as 2,290 contestants are in the fray, including chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, his minister-son K T Rama Rao, state Congress president A Revanth Reddy and BJP Lok Sabha members Bandi Sanjay Kumar and D Arvind. Telangana Assembly Election 2023: 8.52% Voter Turnout Recorded Till 9 AM for Vidhan Sabha Polls, Says Election Commission.

CM Rao and his wife K Shobha voted in Chinramadaka village in Siddipet district. Union Minister and state BJP president G Kishan Reddy, BRS Working President Rama Rao, his sister and party MLC K Kavitha and AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi were among the early voters after polling began at 7 AM. Film personalities including Chiranjeevi and Allu Arvind also cast their votes.

BRS has fielded candidates in all 119 seats. Allies BJP and Janasena are contesting in 111 and 8 seats, respectively, while Congress is fighting from 118 seats and has given one seat to CPI. Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM has put up candidates in nine segments in the city.

Top national leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, besides chief minister KCR addressed a number of meetings and held roadshows during the campaigning, indicating the prestige invested by the respective parties in the electoral battle that comes months ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Kavitha, daughter of CM Rao, cast her vote in Banjara Hills here. "I sincerely request everybody in Telangana to come out and exercise their right. Because when you vote you have the right to question us. When you vote, you can hold the politicians accountable," she said.

Owaisi, who voted at a school in Rajendranagar Assembly constituency, also urged the the voters to exercise their franchise. "We are hopeful that we will do well. Now it is for the people to come out to vote in thousands and lakhs and exercise the right to vote so that you reward those candidates and parties who have been working for you, who have great concern for you," he said.

Hailing India's democracy, Kishan Reddy said one does not get the right to criticise the political system without fulfilling the responsibility of voting. Finding fault with the distribution of money and liquor to lure voters, he urged the electorate to vote fearlessly and without being influenced by any inducements.

Observing that he has fulfilled his duty as a citizen, Rama Rao asked all citizens of Telangana to come out and exercise their franchise. Later, in a post on social media site X, he said "Getting reports from all over the state Car in Top Gear. Jai Telangana." The BRS' election symbol is car. State Congress president and MP A Revanth Reddy cast his vote in the Kodangal assembly segment from where he is contesting.

Congress said it brought to the notice of Chief Electoral officer Vikas Raj, Kavitha allegedly violating the poll code by appealing to the people to vote for the BRS. Asked about the complaint against Kavitha, CEO Raj said the matter has been referred to the District Election Officer (DEO). On a reported complaint at Kamareddy constituency by BRS against Revanth Reddy's brother, the official said it has been referred to concerned DEO.