Over 2000 voters in polling station numbers 311,312, 313 and 314 allotted to a private school in Old Alwal were left in lurch as the polling station was shifted to another place without any prior notice.
The polling station located in Loyola High School in Father Balaiah Nagar of Old Alwal in Malkajgiri Assembly constituency has four booths as per the original allotment. But, to the surprise of the voters, they found the school locked and no one to guide them.
Though the school has been shut for over two years, the authorities had still allotted four polling stations. After much invonvenience, the voters were asked to approach Loyola Academy Degree and PG College, located a good two kms away. On reaching the place, voters were told that only two booths 311 and 312 were located there while two others — 313, 314 and 314 A — were moved to St Pious High School in Alwal Hills, 3 kms from the actual polling station.
Venkatachari, a resident of Mangapuram Colony was agitated as he first came to Loyola School and then to Loyola Academy and finally to St Pious High School only to find the EVM not functioning. “We are running from one place to another with no one to guide us,” he lamented as another senior citizen Rajesh of Father Balaiah Nagar, who also came to vote said the printed voter information on the CEO Telangana and Election Commission website still showed the old polling station.
“There are a large number of people waiting outside the old school not knowing where to go,” said Rohit, a techie, who came to Loyola School to vote.
Venkatesh, the polling agent of the Telangana Jana Samiti said he, along with others, had waited outside the Loyola High School station to enter only to realize that it has been shifted.
At the polling booth 314, the situation was chaotic as the voters were told that the EVM was not working. “We have alerted the higher authorities to replace the EVM. It has to come from Bhavan’s Degree College, Sainikpuri,” the presiding officer of the booth Ramakanth told The Hindu.
Polling was normal at booth number 311, 312 and 313 as voters queued up from 7 a.m. There was tight security outside the stations and vehicles were not allowed anywhere near the stations.
Mr. Anjaiah, a retired employee of ECIL in Hyderabad, who witnessed the plight of the voters, scribbled the change of polling station and put up a notice board at Loyola High School much to the relief of the voters even as the polling officials were not bothered.