1st phase poll: 19,491 nominations filed for sarpanch posts on last day

Highest number of papers received in Chittoor, followed by East Godavari and Visakhapatnam

The last day of nominations for the first phase of the local body elections on Sunday (January 31) saw record number of filling of papers by the candidates, amid allegations and counter-allegations by both the ruling YSR Congress Party and the opposition TDP.

The cumulative number of nominations for the sarpanch posts stood at 19,491 and while the same for the ward member posts was 79,799.

As many as 10,715 nomination papers were filed for the post of sarpanch and 54,256 for the post of ward members on the last day itself.

The maximum number of nominations for sarpanch posts were filed in Chittor district (2,890), followed by East Godavari (2,135) and Visakhapatnam (2,009). Even as the local body elections are apolitical, senior leaders of the YSRCP and the TDP were busy finalising the candidates who would fight the polls with the support of the parties.

Minister for Industries Mekapati Gowtham Reddy, former MP Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy, former Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, Minister for Irrigation Anil Kumar Yadav and Adviser to Government (public affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy discussed the strategies for the elections atr a meeting in Nellore on Monday.

Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy said that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had been advocating unanimous elections to avoid the possible violence, ensuring that the process was completed in a peaceful manner. The State government has even announced cash incentives for the gram panchayats where candidates will be chosen unanimously.

Action soughtagainst Atchannaidu

Meanwhile, the YSRCP leaders continued to turn the heat on the TDP. YSRCP general secretary Lella Appi Reddy on Monday submitted a memorandum to Satate Election Commission Secretary K. Kanna Babu, seeking action against TDP State president K. Atchannaidu. Mr. Appi Reddy alleged that the TDP leader was trying to intimidate a candidate at his native village of Nimmada in Srikakulam district.

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