In the latest incident, sarpanch posts go under hammer in three villages of Prakasam district for Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh

Even as the Prakasam district administration is gearing itself to hold the three-phase gram panchayat elections in a free and fair manner, auctioning of posts was done “clandestinely” at least in three villages in Prakasam district ahead of the polls to 1,028 gram panchayats for which nominations will open on Tuesday.

Ignoring the warnings issued by the election authorities, the coveted post was auctioned in Velcherla in C.S.Puram Mandal was bagged by one Srinivasa Reddy for a high price of Rs. 15 lakh, informed sources said.

In the auction held in Akkapalli village in Bestavaripet mandal by village elders, one Venkat Reddy bagged the post for Rs. 10.25 lakh while Jyothi bagged the fancied post for Rs. 10.05 lakhs at China Obenenipalli village also in Bestavaripet mandal, the sources said.

However, Kandukur Revenue Division Officer(RDO) P.Bapi Reddy and Markapur RDO M. Ragava Rao when contacted said “no such incidents have come to their notice. We will take stern action after inquiry.”

Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police P. Pramod Kumar held a meeting with DSPs here on Sunday to ensure peaceful elections in the Ongole division on July 23, in the Kandukur division on July 27 and Markapur division on July 31.

The SP asked them to extensively visit the villages to ensure incident-free elections with more focus on the 407 gram panchayats identified as hyper-sensitive, 397 as sensitive and 43 as extremists-affected.