As many as 150,000 security personnel - the highest-ever - have been deployed as part of the tight security arrangements for the first phase of Andhra Pradesh assembly and Lok Sabha elections scheduled Wednesday, said the officials.
Chief electoral officer (CEO) Bhanwarlal Tuesday said all arrangements were made to ensure free and fair polling for 119 assembly and 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana. He said the number of security personnel deployed at 30,000 polling stations was three times more than the deployment in 2009 elections. "This is the highest-ever number of policemen deployed for the polls in the state," he said. With the polling personnel leaving for the respective polling stations with electronic voting machines (EVMs) and other material, the stage is set for the ballot.
According to the state police chief, 90,000 policemen were deployed and they include 54,000 personnel from civil police and district armed reserve besides 15,500 home guards. Director General of Police B. Prasada Rao said 158 paramilitary companies and 59 companies of Andhra Pradesh Special Police (APSP) were also deployed. Four helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were stationed in the districts for contingency.
The police chief said all measures were taken for maintaining law and order in 10 districts of Telangana, which also comprises two police commissionerates - Hyderabad and Cyberabad. The DGP said as per the guidelines of the Election Commission, close watch was kept on movement of cash, liquor, gifts and other articles meant as voters.
Police have so far seized nearly Rs.123 crore unaccounted cash across the state. About Rs.44 crore was returned to the owners after verification of the documents. Police have also seized 32.18 lakh bottles of liquor, 89 kg of gold and 821 kg of silver.