Motivate voters to exercise their franchise in panchayat polls: SEC

‘Polling percentage of district has always been lower compared to State’s average’

Expressing satisfaction over the arrangements made by the district administration for the upcoming panchayat election, State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, urged the administration to motivate the voters to express their franchise, without any fear or worry.

The district administration of Visakhapatnam has done a good job making the arrangements, but the polling percentage of the district has always been lower compared to the State’s average. When the State’s average is about 85%, Visakhapatnama clocks around 75%, he said.

It is up to the district administration to convey the message that all arrangements have been made, keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in mind and voters need not fear, he said.

He was speaking to the media after holding a review meet with the district administration, which was attended by District Collector V. Vinay Chand, Commissioner of Police Manish Kumar Sinha, DIG (Visakhapatnam range) L.K.V. Ranga Rao, Superintendent of Police B. Krishna Rao, election observer Praveen Kumar and other senior officials from various departments. The SEC is on a two-day tour of the North Coastal districts and is accompanied by Additional DG N. Sanjay.

The SEC further said Election Commissioner’s office is an impartial Constitution body and the office goes by the guidelines enshrined in the Constitution.

Speaking about the necessity of the panchayat polls, Mr. Ramesh Kumar said, “When elections are held for Parliament and the State Assemblies on time, why there is delay or doubt over conducting local body polls, including panchayat elections. Local bodies such as Panchayat is the stepping stone for democracy and governance and that is why it should be held without any apprehensions or delay.”

Unanimous elections

Critical about unanimous elections, he said, “Getting elected unanimously is not right for democracy. In democracy, opportunity should be given to every voice, including the weakest ones.”

The SEC also informed the media that a special cell will be opened at the SEC’s office on Tuesday for receiving complaints and urged the media to give impartial feedback on the ongoing election process.

Expressing concern over the reported death of the husband of a Sarpanch candidate at Gollalagunta under Jaggampeta police station limits in East Godavari, he said that he will visit the area to get a first hand information in the incident.

On Monday, the body of Sabbella Srinivas Reddy (45) was found hanging from a tree under mysterious circumstances. His wife S. Pushpavathi had filed her nominations for sarpanch of Gollalagunta panchayat on Sunday.

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