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64.93 pc polling in Telangana’s 17 LS constituencies

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Hyderabad, May 14 (IANS) A voter turnout of 64.93 per cent was recorded in Telangana, where polling was held May 13 for all 17 Lok Sabha seats.

Past midnight, the Election Commission put the estimated turnout at 64.93 per cent. The final figure is likely to be announced later in the day.

The polling percentage was 61.16 per cent till 5 p.m. and though the polling came to an end at 6 p.m., those standing in queues were allowed to cast their votes.

According to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Vikas Raj, the polling process continued even after 6 p.m. at 1,300 to 1,400 polling stations.

Telangana had recorded a turnout of 71.34 per cent during the Assembly elections held in November 2023. The turnout was 62.11 per cent in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

A little over 3.17 crore voters, half of them women, were eligible to cast their votes across the state on Monday.

Bhongir Lok Sabha constituency recorded the highest turnout of 76.47 per cent. Hyderabad saw the lowest polling of 46.08 per cent.

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Urban constituencies saw lower polling than rural areas. In Secunderabad, the turnout was 48.11 per cent. Malkajgiri and Chevella recorded 50.12 per cent and 55.45 per cent polling respectively.

The CEO said there were no problems on the law-and-order side too. He said 38 First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered on Monday for various reasons and against different political parties.

In 13 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected segments under five Lob Sabha constituencies the polling ended at 4 p.m. In the remaining 106 segments it continued till 6 p.m.

The political future of 525 candidates in 17 Lok Sabha constituencies has been sealed in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). They will have to wait till June 4 to know the outcome.

Votes were also polled for by-election to the Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly seat, a part of the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency.

The vacancy arose following the death of sitting MLA Lasya Nanditha of BRS in a road accident in February 2024, just three months after she was elected in the Assembly elections.

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Fifteen candidates were in the fray for the Assembly by-election. The constituency registered 50.34 per cent polling.

Barring minor incidents, the polling passed off peacefully across the state. BJP’s Hyderabad candidate K. Madhavi Latha was booked by the police after she checked the identity of some burka-clad Muslim women voters at a polling station in Malakpet and asked them to the off their veils.

A total of 35,809 polling stations were set up in all 17 Lok Sabha constituencies for the polling.

Secunderabad constituency has a maximum number of candidates at 45. A total of 44 candidates are in the fray in Medak, followed by 43 in Chevella and 42 each in Peddapalle (SC) and Warangal (SC) constituencies. There are only 12 candidates in the Adilabad (ST) constituency.

Union Minister and state BJP president G. Kishan Reddy is seeking re-election from Secunderabad. BJP national general secretary and sitting MP from Karimnagar, Bandi Sanjay Kumar is contesting again from the same seat. BJP national vice president D. K. Aruna is contesting Mahabubnagar.

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AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi is seeking re-election for a fifth consecutive term from Hyderabad.

In the 2019 elections, BRS had won nine seats while BJP had bagged four seats. Congress could win three seats while AIMIM had retained the lone seat.

–IANS

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Bangladesh national detained from village near LoC in Jammu

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Jammu, May 26 (IANS) A purportedly mentally challenged Bangladesh national was detained near the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K’s Jammu district on Sunday, officials said.

Officials said that the Bangladesh national, disclosing his name as Taffajjal Bablu, 36, was detained from a village near the LoC in the Pallanwalla area of Akhnoor in Jammu district.

“He claimed to belong to the Alupotti Natore area in Bangladesh. A Bangladesh currency note, 3 SIM cards, a student card, some bills and a pocket diary were recovered from him. His mental condition is being determined, through psychiatric examination, before any further action is taken in the matter,” an official said.

–IANS

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J&K Police constable involved in drug trade sacked

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Jammu, May 26 (IANS) A police constable in J&K’s Reasi district was dismissed from service on Sunday for being involved in the drug trade, officials said.

Selection grade police constable Tariq Hussain Shah was booked last year under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

SSP Reasi, Mohita Sharma ordered the dismissal, officials said.

“He was dismissed for prolonged unauthorised absence from duties and for being an accused in drug trafficking. He was booked under sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act at Jammu’s Bakshi Nagar police station last year,” an official said.

“The SSP said in the order that charges of violations of police rules and regulations, absenteeism, grave misconduct, indiscipline, and negligence were proved against the constable making him unfit to serve the department. The stern departmental action of dismissal has been taken after the delinquent cop did not pay heed to series of signals, attendance notices and show cause notices which were served upon him,” the official added.

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After the present DGP R.R.Swain took over the command of the J&K Police, instances of misconduct, indiscipline, corruption, or rudeness to the public which have been brought to his notice have received prompt attention and action.

–IANS

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Doctors save 18-month-old girl who ingested mosquito repellent

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Hyderabad, May 26 (IANS) Doctors at a hospital in Hyderabad saved an 18-month-old girl who accidentally ingested a mosquito repellent. The girl from Bhilai was airlifted to Hyderabad after her condition deteriorated.

After struggling to breathe, she was initially taken to a local hospital and then transferred to a hospital in Raipur, where she was placed on a ventilator. As her lungs began to fail, and she couldn’t breathe properly despite full ventilator support, the hospital in Raipur contacted KIMS Cuddles, Kondapur in Hyderabad.

A specialised team of six, including two intensivists, a perfusionist and a cardiac surgeon, flew to Raipur.

Upon examination, they diagnosed severe chemical pneumonitis caused by hydrocarbons in the insecticide.

As the ventilator was ineffective in oxygenating her body and her heart was failing severely, the medical team decided to use ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) to support her breathing and stabilise her condition.

The girl received one of the rarest and most complex treatments, involving the insertion of a cannula near her neck to bypass her heart and lung to save her life.

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After the procedure, the baby was transported via road ambulance to Raipur Airport and then transported via charter air ambulance to Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad.

From there, she was taken to KIMS Cuddles, Kondapur.

She was on VA-ECMO for nine days, showing gradual improvement. Then, she spent another five or six days on a ventilator.

Afterward, she was placed on high-flow oxygen, and eventually low-flow oxygen.

During this period, an infection was treated with antibiotics.

After 18 days of treatment, the baby fully recovered, became active, and was discharged last week in good health with a normal neurological outcome.

“The treatment provided significant support to her heart and lungs. The advanced facilities at KIMS Cuddles Kondapur, combined with the expertise of a highly skilled medical team, made it possible to transport her to ECMO from Raipur and treat her successfully. Experienced cardiac and vascular surgeons ensured precise blood vessel cannulation,” said Dr. Parag Dekate, Clinical Director of Pediatrics and Head Of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, KIMS Cuddles, Kondapur.

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–IANS

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Rajkot fire: CM Bhupendra Patel conducts on-site inspection

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Rajkot, May 26 (IANS) Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Sunday conducted an on-site visit to assess the aftermath of the devastating fire at TRP Gamezone in Rajkot, which claimed 35 lives.

Chief Minister also visited the Rajkot AIIMS and other hospitals to check on the injured and interacted with victims and their families.

He also met the families of those who lost their lives, offered condolences and assured them full support.

At Rajkot’s Hirasar Airport, Chief Minister Patel held a high-level review meeting to discuss the relief and rescue operations. He directed a thorough investigation and insisted on strict punitive action against those responsible.

A 100-bed burn ward has been set up at PDU Medical College in Rajkot to treat burn victims. Additional doctors and paramedical staff have also been deployed to ensure no lapse in medical care. Expert surgeons and trained nurses from Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Morbi, Junagadh, and Bhavnagar have also been deployed in Rajkot.

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At least 20 ambulances have also been put into service to enhance transportation facilities for quick intensive care.

Air ambulance services have also been put into service to transport DNA samples of the deceased and their family members’ referral samples to the Gandhinagar Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for urgent identification.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has also been formed to probe the incident which will be headed by Additional Director General of Police Subhash Trivedi.

The SIT has been asked to furnish the preliminary report to the state government within three days.

Rajkot City Police has ordered the closure of all game zones in the city as a precautionary measure as the inspections for fire safety and other security measures are ongoing.

Administration has said that immediate punitive action will be taken against game zones operating without a Fire No Objection Certificate (NOC) or any other necessary permissions, and they will be shut down.

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–IANS

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KTR accuses Telangana govt of Rs 1,000 crore scam in rice procurement

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Hyderabad, May 26 (IANS) Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) working president K. T. Rama Rao has accused the Congress-led Telangana government of Rs 1,000 crore paddy lifting and rice procurement scam.

He demanded Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy and civil supplies minister Uttam Kumar Reddy to clear themselves of the allegations. He challenged them to initiate a judicial inquiry with a sitting judge

He accused CM Revanth Reddy and minister Uttam Kumar Reddy of being implicated in the scam in the civil supply department.

Addressing a news conference at BRS central office, Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad, KTR accused the Congress party of looting the government exchequer.

He claimed that the civil supplies department, under the supervision of Uttam Kumar Reddy and Chief Minister Revanth Reddy, awarded tenders to four companies to lift paddy from rice millers in the state. He accused both the Chief Minister and the minister of constituting a committee, issuing guidelines, and calling for tenders — all on January 25 itself.

“The government showed no urgency in fulfilling electoral promises, but it swiftly awarded these tenders dubiously in one day with jet speed,” the BRS leader remarked. He alleged that the Congress government was looting government funds in the name of global tenders for 35 lakh metric tons of paddy.

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He noted that local rice millers were ready to purchase the same paddy for Rs 2,100 per quintal, but the government sold it at prices ranging from Rs 1,885 to 2,007 per quintal to companies like Kendriya Bhandar, LG Industries, Hindustan Company, and NACAF, who secured the tenders by quoting lower rates.

KTR further accused these four companies of blackmailing local rice millers, demanding Rs 2,230 per quintal, which is Rs 200 more than their tendered rates, leading to Rs 800 crore scam. He pointed out that according to the tender agreement, these companies had no right to demand money instead of paddy from the rice millers.

He stated that these companies failed to lift the paddy within the stipulated 90-day period, which ended on May 23, and they sought an extension from the government, which is under positive consideration. He accused the government of trying to extend the period to fleece more money from the millers instead of taking action against the companies for violating tender conditions.

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KTR demanded that the government release a white paper detailing how much paddy had been lifted and address the allegations of money collection from millers instead of paddy. He criticised the government for its silence on this multi-crore scam for over two weeks. KTR also faulted the government policy for tendering fine and raw paddy at the same price.

He criticised the government for purchasing fine rice at Rs 15 more per kilogram than the market price. He noted that the BRS government, under KCR, had introduced fine rice for school and hostel students as a humane initiative, but the Congress government was exploiting this noble cause for corruption. Even today, new fine rice with 10 per cent broken rice is priced at around Rs 42 per kilogram in the market, while the government is paying Rs 57 per kilogram to companies.

He highlighted that the same four companies involved in the dubious paddy lifting tenders were also awarded tenders for buying fine rice, raising public doubts. These companies quoted the nearly same rate in tenders, blatantly rigging the process, KTR said.

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KTR reminded that the erstwhile government used procured paddy for fine rice supply, securing better quality fine rice at just Rs 35 per kilogram. He accused the government under Revanth Reddy and Uttam Kumar Reddy of engaging in a Rs 300 crore scam in fine rice procurement by procuring 2.20 lakh metric tons. He demanded the immediate cancellation of tender awarding letters for fine rice procurement from these shady companies.

KTR urged the BJP and its leaders to show their commitment by involving central agencies and the FCI to investigate this scam. He reminded that the FCI always monitors paddy procurement and minimum support price transactions as per the Food Security Act. The central government’s silence also raised suspicions of collusion with the Congress government in this paddy scam.

If the Congress and BJP fail to clarify their roles in this thousand-crore paddy and fine rice scam, KTR warned that they would seek judicial intervention.

–IANS

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