File photo: Polling in Telangana.
Hyderabad: Over 23 per cent of 2.80 crore voters of Telangana exercised their franchise during the first four hours of polling on Friday.
Legislative Assembly elections are being held for the first time in Telangana after its formation. The 2014 Assembly polls were held in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
"Polling till 11 AM was reported at 23.4 per cent..a clear trend would emerge by 3 PM," Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar told reporters.
Voting commenced at sharp 7 AM, though at some polling stations there was a delay of about 10-15 minutes, he noted.
In one or two cases, the EVMs had to be replaced, he said.
"It (polling) is going on very satisfactorily..I want to thank Telangana voters," he added.
Responding to a query on the alleged attack on Kalwakurthy Congress candidate Vamshi Chand Reddy, Kumar said the district electoral officer is inquiring into the matter.
Earlier, Telangana Congress president Uttam Kumar Reddy had alleged that Vamshi was attacked by BJP cadres during his visit to Amangal in his constituency to observe the poll pattern.
Polling is underway in the 119 assembly constituencies in the state amid elaborate arrangements.
Voting will conclude at 5 PM, except in 13 constituencies classified as Left Wing Extremist-affected where the process ends at 4 PM.
The CEO had said those in queues at polling stations before 5 PM would be allowed to vote.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan and his wife Vimala Narasimhan, caretaker Chief Minister K T Rama Rao and his deputy Kadiyam Srihari, state minister Harish Rao, BJP Telangana chief K Laxman, former Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, TJS president Kodandaram are among the leaders who cast their votes.
After casting his vote, Harish Rao said he expected the overall poll percentage to go up.
Former Union Minister Chiranjeevi and actors Nagarjuna, Allu Arjun, Nithin, Krishna cast their votes in Jubilee Hills in the city.
Meanwhile, Telangana DGP M Mahendar Reddy said polling process had been peaceful across the state.
Elaborate and necessary arrangements have been made for law and order, public safety and queue management, he said.
Over one lakh personnel from Telangana, central paramilitary forces and those drawn from different states have been deployed as part of security and other arrangements.
The Congress has stitched together an allaince, "Prajakutami" (People's Front), along with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) to take on the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), led by K Chandrasekhar Rao.
The TRS, seeking a second term in office, is going alone, as also the BJP.