The Congress, Telugu Desam and the YSR Congress are trying to capture maximum number of sarpanch posts in Krishna district, and they are leaving no stone unturned to achieve this goal.
The traditional rivals Congress and TDP seem to have entered into an understanding between them in several places to stop the YSR Congress candidates for the first time in the panchayat elections.
All major political parties are showing keen interest in extending all types of support to candidates they are backing. The MLAs of the different parties played an active role in trying to get candidates elected unanimously on Wednesday, the last day for withdrawal of nominations.
As part of an effort to keep the YSR Congress out of the gram panchayat polls the TDP is extending support to the daughter-in-law of former Congress Minister Mokkapati Venkateswara Rao at Kethaveerunipadu in Nandigama Mandal. The TDP and Congress have been at loggerheads at the village from inception.
Nandigama has always been a bastion of the TDP since the inception of the party. The TDP and Congress activists took their joint candidate Mokkapati Vijayamma in a rally for filing nomination for the sarpanch post. The YSR Congress is supporting the candidature of N. Sirisha in this village.
The Congress party is not supporting any candidate in Kanchikacherla, a major panchayat. This is because the Congress leaders of the village are divided with some supporting the YSR Congress and others opposing it strongly.
Factors other than politics also seem to be playing a role in these elections. Money is acting as a big lubricant in the arrangements and arriving at understandings between aspirants who belong to different parties. Candidates are all set to spend to the tune of Rs.40 lakh in major panchayats and Rs.20 lakhs in minor panchayats.
An army of revenue officials, 11,166 presiding officers and 16,165 other polling persons grappled with over 5,000 nominations filed for 969 gram sarpanch posts and nearly 28,000 nominations filed for 9,908 ward member posts in the local bodies of Krishna district.
There is a likelihood of sarpanches of between 100 and 150 gram panchayats getting elected unanimously along with between 300 and 400 ward members.
The officials said that it would be past midnight before a clear picture regarding the number of candidates who withdrew and the sarpanches and ward members who were elected unanimously emerged.