Polling for the first phase of gram panchayat elections in Andhra Pradesh to elect 20,157 ward members began on Tuesday at 6.30 AM. According to the press note released from the Panchayat Raj department, as many as 2,723 panchayats in the state are set to go for polls in the first phase.
Andhra Pradesh state election commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar has inspected the poll process at the control room in Vijayawada. A total of 7,506 candidates are in the fray for sarpanch posts while 43,601 are fighting the elections for ward members.
All necessary precautions were in place as per COVID-19 protocol amid tight security and PPE kits will be provided to voters infected by the virus.
The polls will go on till February 21 in four phases while counting of votes will begin at 4 PM. The voting percentage is as follows as of 11 AM,
- Kadappa – 29%
- Vizag – 41%
- Nellore – 27%
- Chittor – 39%
- Anantapur – 35%
- Srikakulam – 46%
- Guntur – 38%
Meanwhile, electors in Sambhunipalem village of Nellore district have boycotted the election in protest against the rejection of nominations of some local candidates. Clashes broke out between workers of Telugu Desam Party and YSR Congress in East Godavari district. Three people were reportedly injured in the incident at Gollaprolu mandal’s Chinnajaggampeta village.
With the border dispute between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh aggravated by Andhra’s decision to hold rural polls in some of the villages in the area. On the other hand, about 35 per cent village panchayats under Darsi assembly segment in Prakasam district have elected their sarpanches unanimously by the end of the deadline for withdrawal of nominations.