Candidates backed by the ruling Congress gained the upper hand in the panchayat elections when a majority of about 1,100 -odd sarpanches were declared unopposed when the deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended on Wednesday evening.
The elections were held on a non-party basis but major political parties claimed that their candidates had emerged victorious.
According to information reaching here, the Congress was ahead in Coastal Andhra region, barring Guntur district, and the YSR Congress in Chittoor and Kadapa districts. Out of the 209 gram panchayats in Srikakulam district where the election was unanimous, the Congress bagged over 90, the TDP 50 and the YSR Congress 40. Interestingly, in Telangana, the Congress won a majority of the seats with the TRS coming second in some districts and the TDP a distant third. The YSR Congress could not make any impact in Telangana having won very few seats in Warangal and Karimnagar districts.
In Chittoor, the native district of Chief Minister Kirankumar Reddy, the Congress suffered a setback as the YSR Congress made deep inroads by winning 109 panchayats followed by the TDP -- 61. The Congress could win only 33, less than the 53 bagged by independents.
The YSR Congress bagged more than half (80 panchayats) of the 155, followed by the Congress with 34 while the TDP was a distant third with 20 and independents 21. Trends in Kurnool district indicated that the race was primarily between the Congress and the YSRC with the Telugu Desam lagging behind. Out of 110 panchayats where sarpanches were elected unopposed, the Congress won 48, the YSR Congress 27, independents and others 30, the TDP five.
In Anantapur, the Congress and the TDP shared honours while the YSR Congress suffered a setback. Congress candidates triumphed in 31 panchayats with the TDP coming close behind with 21 and YSR Congress remaining third at 12.
A report from Karimnagar said of the 58 results, the Congress won 17 followed closely by TRS 15, TDP three. In Warangal, a total of 78 panchayats saw unanimous elections in which the TRS bagged 29, Congress 21, TDP eight and independents 18. In Medak, Congress won 32 out of 69 panchayats followed by the TRS with ten.