Panchayati polls in Andhra begin on peaceful note

The first phase of the panchayat elections in Andhra Pradesh kicked off on a peaceful note on Tuesday as voting began at 6.30 am in 18 revenue divisions, official said.

The revenue divisions in which polls will be held in the first of the four phases are Srikakulam, Tekkali, Palakonda, Anakapalli, Kakinada, Peddapuram, Narasapuram, Vijayawada, Tenali, Ongole, Kavali, Nandyal, Kurnool, Kadiri, Jammalamadugu, Kadapa, Rajampeta, and Chittoor.

Except Vizianagaram, elections have been scheduled in all the districts in the first phase.

As many as 3,249 villages will go to polls, comprising 32,504 wards.

Of the 12 mandals in Kadiri revenue division, there are 169 village panchayats, in which six panchayats have opted for unanimous elections. For the remaining 163 villages, 462 candidates are in the fray.

Likewise, 715 of the 1,714 wards have gone in for unanimous elections, even as the remaining 984 wards will see a contest between 2,030 candidates.

As many as 1,694 polling stations have been set up in this revenue division, including 663 with large-sized ballot boxes, 751 medium-sized boxes and 718 small-sized boxes.

By 9.30 am, 27 per cent polling was reported in Kadiri division.

Likewise, in Kurnool district, 45.86 per cent polling was recorded by 10.30 am.

While the polling will end at 3.30 pm, counting of votes will start at 4 pm on Tuesday.