Polls in LWE-hit areas a challenge for officials

The Vizianagaram district administration is geared up for the final phase of the panchayat elections to be held on Sunday.

Voters will elect 238 sarpanches and 1,947 ward members. The elections are expected to be crucial in Lotugedda, Kuneru, Kondalingalavalasa and Daraparthi with the reported presence of Maoists and their sympathisers.

Vizinaagaram Collector M. Hari Jawaharlal and Superintendent of Police B. Rajakumari reviewed the poll arrangements and advised the staff to guard the polling material and inform higher officials in case of any untoward incident in sensitive places. Dr. Hari Jawaharlal who visited Gantyada, S. Kota, Vepada, L. Kota and Kothavalasa mandals directed mandal special officers to ensure all the facilities for the polling staff.

He said that the proper arrangements from early hours would make more voters participate in the election process and achieve highest voting percentage in the district.

“We are arranging CCTV cameras at polling stations and the entire election process will be monitored by web casting. We will ensure that voters are not inconvenienced. Counting will also be done on Saturday evening and results will be announced immediately,” he added.

Meanwhile, both the ruling YSR Congress Party and Opposition Telugu Desam Party are pulling out all stops to win the maximum number of seats in the panchayats which come under Sringavarapukota , Gajapathinagaram and Salur Assembly constituencies. S. Kota MLA Kadubandi Srinivasa Rao visited various panchayats in Kothavalasa, S. Kota, L. Kota and other places to ensure a victory for YSRCP-backed sarpanch candidates.

“Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s flagship programmes have ensured a positive vote bank for us in rural areas. That is why YSRCP-backed candidates won over 80% seats in the two previous phases. We are hopeful of winning maximum seats including major panchayats easily,” Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.

Former Union Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju and other senior leaders hoped that the opposition-backed candidates would win more seats in the final phase of elections.

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