Polling began simultaneously on Wednesday for 17 Lok Sabha constituencies and 119 state assembly seats in Telangana amid excitement of electing the first government of the new state that will formally come into existence on June 2.
70% voting was recorded.
Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Telugu Desam-Bharatiya Janata Party combine are the main contenders for power in what will be the 29th state of Indian Union.
The key contestants for Lok Sabha are Union ministers S Jaipal Reddy, Sarve Satyanarayana and Balram Naik, TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao, his daughter Kavitha, Lok Satta Party chief N Jayaprakash Narayan and Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi and , former DGP V Dinesh Reddy, former IAS officer M Chaya Ratan, CPI state secretary K Narayana.
The TRS head, who intends to become the first chief minister of Telangana state, is also contesting the assembly election from Gajwel.
The main contenders for the assembly seats include Congress' Telangana unit president Ponnala Lakshmaiah, working president Uttam Kumar Reddy, former deputy chief minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, and former state ministers Geeta Reddy and D Sridhar Babu.
Enthusiasm was writ large on people's faces as they queued up at polling stations since 7am to exercise their franchise.
A group of youngsters was the first to reach the polling station at City Central Library under Musheerabad assembly constituency in Hyderabad to cast votes for the first time.
"It's thrilling," said Pratyusha, an engineering student, after she got her right index finger inked upon casting her first vote.
State governor ESL Narasimhan and his wife Vimala Narasimhan reached the Raj Nagar polling station at MS Maktha, opposite the Raj Bhavan, to cast their votes.
State chief electoral officer Bhanwarlal cast his vote at the polling station at IAS Officers Colony.
Balloting is taking place at 30,574 polling booths and more than 28.17 million electors are eligible to exercise their franchise.
A total of 1,669 candidates are in the fray for 119 assembly seats while 265 are contesting for the 17 parliamentary seats across Telangana.
In three out of the 10 Maoist-affected assembly constituencies in the region, polling will be held till 4pm while in the other seven it will conclude at 5pm.
In the remaining 109 segments, polling will end at 6pm, according to the chief electoral officer.
Four helicopters of the Indian Air Force have been stationed in districts for contingencies even as a strong posse of 90,000 police and para-military personnel has been deployed in 10 districts of Telangana to oversee security.
(With inputs from IANS and PTI)
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Here's a map for the constituencies going to polls on Wednesday. On searching, you will get details of all parties fighting from a constituency and key candidates there:
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