The third phase of gram panchayat elections was incident-free in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE)- affected polling stations in the Agency areas of West Godavari district on Wednesday.
Ignoring the Maoists’ call to boycott the elections, people turned up in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
Polavaram Sub-Collector R.V. Suryanarayana visited the LWE-affected polling centres in the Kukunoor and Velerupadu mandals and monitored the election process.
Personnel of the CRPF, OCTOPUS, APSP and Special Party were deployed from both A.P. and Telangana in the border habitations.
Superintendent of Police K. Narayan Naik, who camped at Velerupadu along with ASP Mahesh, reviewed the deployment of forces and the polling process with the Sub-Collector. Polavaram DSP K. Latha Kumari visited the sensitive and hypersensitive polling centres.
“Despite the Maoists giving a call to boycott the elections, the voters turned up in large numbers in all the LWE-hit booths. The third phase of polls was peaceful,” Mr. Narayan Naik said.
“Many voters, including women and the aged, have exercised their franchise in big numbers. A few tribal people engaged auto-rickshaws from the nearby habitations to reach the polling centres,” Mr. Suryanarayana told The Hindu.
Many people hailing from the Kondareddy and Koya tribes used boats to cross the Godavari from Pusagondi, Posaram, Perantallapalli, Kakisanuru and other hamlets to utilise their right to vote.
“Ballot boxes have reached from all the polling stations. Tight security has been arranged at the counting centres,” the Sub-Collector said.
The polling percentages in the LWE-affected polling stations showed the enthusiasm among the voters.
According to Mr. Suryanarayana, who is also K.R. Puram ITDA Project Officer, the figures at some of the centres are as follows: Katkuru (87.92%); Koida (80%); and Tirlapuram, a hypersensitive habitation, (83.84%).
The polling percentage was 87.27% in Kukunoor mandal, 74.92% in Buttaigudem, 86.77% in Velerupadu, 75% in Polavaram, 73.65% in Jeelugumilli, 81% in Koyyalagudem, and 78.18% in T. Narsapuram mandal, he said.
Jangareddygudem RDO Y.V. Prasanna Lakshmi said tight security was in place at all the counting centres and MROs had been instructed to monitor the process till counting was completed.
The polling percentage was good at Mandapakala, Gommugudem, Vinjaram, Tekuru, Upperu, Naarlavaram, Rudramakota, Repakagommu, Ramavaram and other habitations, the ITDA PO, who is also the district Deputy Election Officer, said.