Polling for sarpanches and ward members began on a brisk note on Wednesday in Anantapur and Kurnool Revenue Divisions, with long queues witnessed from 6 a.m.
The 14 mandals of Kurnool recorded 15.39% polling by 8.30 a.m., compared to 9.97% in the 19 mandals of Anantapur.
Minor clashes occurred in Madugupalli and Challavemula villages in Putlur Mandal of Anantapur despite 2,500 police personnel manning the poll security operations.
Superintendent of Police B. Sathya Yesu Babu visited ‘hypersensitive’ polling stations in Tadipatri mandal, such as Sajjaladinne Aluru, while Tadipatri Deputy Superintendent of Police V.N.K. Chaitanya reviewed the situation at Gannevari Palle Colony.
Polling in the Uravakonda Ward No.3 was put off to February 21 in an early-morning decision in Anantapur following the allotment of an election symbol to a candidate who had withdrawn his candidature. The ‘gown’ symbol was allotted to a candidate and printed on the ballot paper, despite his withdrawing the candidature, said District Collector Gandham Chandrudu and clarified that the Sarpanch election would continue as scheduled. The ward member election alone will be held there on February 21.
While Uravakonda saw a low turnout of 5%, Yellanur Mandal witnessed 24.92%, with Singanamala, Peddapappur and Atmakur mandals too seeing above 20% turnout in two hours. Yidaki, Kuderu, Peddavaduguru, and Gooty Mandals recorded single-digit voter turnout by 8.30 a.m.
Elderly voters and their family members exercised their franchise enthusiastically in many mandals. The former said it was a good outing for them after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Kurnool Revenue Division, Jupadu Bungalow, Midthur Nandikotkur, Pamulapadu and Veldurthy recorded 20% or above voting in two hours.