2nd phase of panchayat polls begins in AP

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The second phase of Panchayat elections in Andhra Pradesh kicked off on Saturday as voting began at 6.30 a.m. in 18 revenue divisions.

The revenue divisions in which polls will be held in the second of the four phases are Tekkali, Palakonda, Parvathipuram, Narsipatnam, Rajamahendravaram, Ramachandrapuram, Kovvuru, Gudiwada, Narsaraopeta, Markapur, Kandukur, Atmakur, Nandyal, Kurnool, Dharmavaram, Kalyandurg, Kadapa and Madanapalle.

As many as 2,786 sarpanch posts are being contested by 7,507 candidates, comprising 29,304 wards. In Kurnool district, elections started off on a peaceful note and district collector Veerapandian told people to exercise their franchise fearlessly.

In the district, officials made arrangements to complete vote counting faster in major panchayats.

Starting 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, senior officials have been monitoring the election arrangements and polls in the control room set up at the collectorate.

As many as 13 mandals, comprising 240 panchayats and 2,482 wards are going to the polls at 1,964 polling centres.

The district has deployed 5,894 election personnel and 2,000 policemen on poll duty. In Kurnool, 183 villages are going for the polls. Until now, only one panchayat chose to go for a unanimous election in Kurnool district.

Zonal officials, shadow teams, striking force teams, route mobile teams, flying squads, drones and web casting are deployed to monitor the elections. Police Act 30 and CrPc Section 144 have been imposed in the district, including banning victory rallies, pyrotechnics and other musical celebrations.

“Non-locals, newcomers and people not related to the polls are banned from the villages where polls are occurring,” said an official statement.

By 8:30 a.m., Kurnool district witnessed a polling percentage of 18.58 per cent.

In Anantapur district, elections are happening in 19 mandalams. Out of 308 panchayats, 15 sarpanches have been elected unanimously, while 756 contestants are vying for the balance 293 sarpanch posts.

Likewise, 793 wards have gone for unanimous polls, even as polling began for the remaining 2,393 wards in which 4,953 candidates are contesting.

By 9:30 a.m., Anantapur district witnessed a polling percentage of 28.64 per cent.

In Vizianagaram district, 355 sarpanches posts are being contested in 2,801 polling stations.

–IANS

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