Campaign in the Agency area, the 11 mandals of which are going to the polls on July 23, reached its peak on Saturday as the deadline for campaigning ends on Sunday. This is the first phase of panchayat elections in the district. However, the campaign is limited to the areas along the road side and mandals like Araku Valley and remote villages are witnessing subdued campaign or no campaign at all due to the threat from CPI (Maoist) to boycott the elections. Nominations were not filed or the nomination papers were taken away by the Maosits in 19 gram panchayats in Munchingput, Paderu, Chintapalli, G.K. Veedhi, G. Madugula and Pedabayalu mandals.
Maoists made their presence felt strongly in their pockets, but many panchayats are witnessing multi-cornered contests. Unanimous election was only in one panchayat, A. Darakonda in G.K. Veedhi mandal. Money and liquor are being allegedly distributed. Since candidates from different tribes are in the fray, efforts are being made to consolidate votes of each tribe. Those living in the plain areas are preparing to go to their villages to cast their votes.
Collector V. Sheshadri informed Chief Election Commissioner of the State Ramakanth Reddy during a video conference on Saturday morning that the district was ready in all respects to conduct the panchayat elections in a peaceful manner. Commissioner of Police B. Shivadhar Reddy, Superintendent of Police Vikramjeet Duggal explained the security arrangements.