Defying all social and financial backwardness, a 45-year-old Nakka Hanumanthu, a seasonal hunter and agriculture labourer from Yanadi tribe, is in the fray for Sarpanch in Marripalem panchayat in Nagayalanka mandal.

Officials say, Mr. Hanumanthu became the first person from Yanadi tribe in panchayat polls in Diviseema to file a nomination. Marriapalem panchayat sarpanch seat has been reserved for Scheduled Tribe this time. Nagayalanka, an Island is home for the Yanadi tribal, and their living standards are still very bad due to their illiteracy, poor access to diversified livelihood options and lack of health awareness.

At a time when people from his tribe are struggling for existence or better means of livelihood options, Mr. Hanumanthu is determined to tap the rare opportunity of contesting as sarpanch, a prime decision-making position in the local body. He had been busy in contacting the influential people in the Panchayat to garner support of other communities like BC, OC and others.

His opponent, Nallagonda Chandrasekhar representing ST (Erukula tribe), who is former sarpanch is also not leaving any stone unturned. The campaign is in full swing as the election is scheduled for July 31. According to revenue officials, Marripalem Panchayat is consisting of barely 1,094 votes, a number that will decide the fate of the two contestants representing communities that are weakest in the society. Out of the total votes, only around 160 voters belong to Yanadi and Erukula tribes while the OC communities have a commendable share of vote bank.

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