Elaborate arrangements made for the elections

Campaigning for the first phase of panchayat elections, scheduled to be held on July 23, ended on Sunday evening.

The sarpanch and the ward member aspirants, along with their followers, participated in the election campaign till the last hour. The contestants assured people of development in the villages and urged them to cast their vote in their favour. Autos and rickshaws played key role in campaigning and the vehicles were decorated with the political party flags and posters, though the polls are not being fought on party symbol basis. Following the directions of the Election Commission of India, the officials covered the faces of the leaders’ statues in villages. In almost all the villages, festival atmosphere prevailed and the villagers were seen discussing on the prospects of the candidates in the panchayat elections. Hectic activity was witnessed on Sunday, at the ‘grama rachabandas’ and the locals were busy talking on winning chances of the candidates supported by political parties.

Of the 969 Gram Panchayats, 134 sarpanches were elected unanimously in Krishna district and there was a triangular contest in many panchayats. The CPI, CPI (M) and independents are in the fray in some villages.

“Mylavaram is a major Gram Panchayat, but there are no roads, drainages and the residents are putting up with the mosquito menace. There is no development in 20 wards in the panchayat. The elected sarpanch should try to fulfil the election promises,” said a local K. Venkaiah.

Tight security

Meanwhile, police, revenue and officials of various departments made elaborate arrangements for smooth conduct of the elections. Police and excise staff intensified patrolling in the villages to prevent any untoward incidents. Section 144 would be imposed at the polling centres and people have been asked to cooperate with the officials for peaceful conduct of poll, said the police.

Guidelines

Krishna district Superintendent of Police J. Prabhakara Rao on Sunday directed members of special battalions to conduct the three-phases of election peacefully. Mr. Prabhakara Rao and other senior officials explained the Election Commission’s new guidelines to the selected security personnel who will play a key role in preventing any untoward incident.

As many as 40 trainee Sub-Inspectors belonging to Greyhounds wing and 140 trainee constables from the Police Training Centre, Hyderabad have been deployed in Krishna district. Mr. Prabhakara Rao stressed on the need for the battalion head acting on the guidance of his superior during the times of tension or any untoward incident at the polling centre or in the villages.

Section 144 will be imposed within the 100 metres of the polling centre. District Panchayat Officer K. Anand told The Hindu that the distribution of ballot boxes would start from Monday morning in order to make arrangements for the first-phase election in Nuzvid division on Tuesday.

Among the 312 panchayats in Nuzvid Revenue Division, as many as 33 panchayats elected their sarpanches unanimously and election would be conducted in 279 panchayats on Tuesday.

More In: Vijayawada