Brisk and peaceful polling marked the second phase of Panchayat elections in Chittoor revenue division on Saturday, though interspersed with minor skirmishes.
The poll percentage was an impressive 89.30 in the 20 central mandals of Chittoor district that went to polls. Sri Rangaraja Puram mandal registered the highest voter turnout at 93.26, while Karvetinagaram was the least at 86.25. Of the 4,12,073 voters, 3,67,977 cast their vote. TDP continued its winning streak by ensuring the victory of a maximum number of its candidates, as was witnessed in the first phase.
Though meant to be apolitical, activists of various political parties clashed at a couple of places in the division. In Bangareddypalle in Chittoor Rural, Congress activists thrashed and injured six TDP supporters. When they also tried to prevent voters from exercising their franchise, police swung into action and chased away the trouble makers.
In Madhavaram village of Yadamari mandal, the villagers prevented the voters from the adjoining Kodigutta Harijanawada from exercising their franchise. Scenting trouble, the residents had, a few days back, requested the Collector to arrange a polling booth in their hamlet, but the latter refused a booth, but assured security. Their fears came true when they were accosted by residents of Madhavaram. Revenue Divisional Officer P. Kishore and Deputy Superintendent of Police S.Rajeshwar Reddy rushed to the spot, pacified the villagers and brought the situation under control.
In Chinnareddypalle of 141 Kandriga Panchayat in Yadamari mandal, the enraged relatives of a defeated candidate (supported by Congress) thrashed the villagers. Congress workers in Uttharapu Kandriga village of Puttur mandal staged a dharna demanding recounting, when the returning officials announced the TDP-supported candidate as having won as Sarpanch.
Peaceful in Rajampet
Kadapa Special Correspondent adds: Polling in 206 gram panchayats and 1,278 wards in Rajampet revenue division passed off peacefully barring a few stray incidents like boycott of polling in a village.
Nearly 500 villagers of T. Kammapalle in Pullampet mandal boycotted the gram panchayat elections in Rajampet revenue division in the second phase on Saturday and poured water into empty ballot boxes.
The villagers said they boycotted the election as leaders of Eguvapalli prevented them from entering their village to vote in the polling station.
Election officials sent the ballot boxes to Rajampet for perusal of senior officials and a repoll was likely in the panchayat. Police resorted to mild caning in Rameswaram village in Porumamilla mandal when some persons pelted stones at each other.
YSR Congress supporters allegedly tore away the agent forms of a Congress agent in R. Buduguntapalli in Rajampet mandal and the sarpanch candidate backed by Congress lodged a complaint with election officials.
Kadapa DCC President M. Ashok Kumar complained to the District Election Officer K. Sasidhar alleging that some YSRC functionaries drove away Congress agents from polling stations in Vathalur and Manyamvaripalle and four wards in Konduru panchayat in Penagalur mandal and captured the booths. He demanded repolling in the said polling stations. He alleged that the Congress agent in R. Buduguntapalle in Rajampet mandal was injured by YSRC activists and rigged the election.
Congress leading in Nandyal division
Kurnool Special Correspondent writes: The Congress established lead in the second phase of elections to gram panchayats in Nandyal division by winning 95 out of 218 results declared as against total of 234. The YSRCP secured 77 panchayats and the TDP 29. The independents won at 17 places.
Polling was peaceful in the second of local bodies’ poll to 234 gram panchayats in Nandyal division on Saturday. Around 86.82 percentages of voters exercised their franchise to elect sarpanches and ward members.
Even though many villages were termed sensitive, the police managed without any trouble any where. Senior officers including SP K. Raghurami Reddy camped at Nandyal and supervised the polling process.
The police and revenue officials effectively controlled troublesome people by ordering leaders to confine to their homes. MLA Katasani Ramireddy, Challa Bhagiratha Reddy and a host of others leaders faced restrictions on their movement during polling.
The Congress party established comfortable lead over other parties.
The YSR party which had strong base in Allagadda demonstrated its strength by capturing majority of panchayats. An Hijra identified as Katike Masumbasha alias Hasina was elected from 14 ward in Panayam as member. Hijras Association president Vijayakumar hailed the election.
Anantapur Staff Reporter adds: The TDP appears to have taken the lead in the second phase of the gram panchayat elections in Anantapur district when reports last came in. The Telugu Desam party won most of the gram panchayats.