Second phase of polls ends peacefully in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram


Tribals form long queues outside voting booths; both TDP, YSRCP exude confidence of victory

Barring a few stray incidents, the second phase of polling for panchayat elections went off peacefully both in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts.

Around 82% polling was registered in Vizianagaram district. The second phase was conducted mostly in tribal areas of Parvatipuram division of Vizianagaram district. The district administration conducted the elections in Kotia gram panchayat in spite of objections from Odisha, as both Odisha and A.P. claim jurisdiction rights over the panchayat.

Voters formed long queues from the early hours of Saturday to cast their votes in the panchayat elections at 355 places of Parvatipuram division. Tribal people came in large numbers to polling booths from 6 a.m. itself to elect their sarpanches. Long queues were seen in Kurupam, Gummalakshmipuram and other mandals.

The elections were also conducted to elect 355 sarpanches and 2,446 ward members. Meanwhile, the elections went off peacefully in 236 places out of 278 panchayats in Srikakulam district. With the completion of elections unanimously for 41 panchayats, the district administration conducted the election for remaining places which come under Assembly constituencies such as Rajam, Itchapuram and Palasa constituencies.

Vizianagaram Collector M. Hari Jawaharlal and Superintendent of Police B. Rajakumari have been monitoring the elections since many panchayats were located in sensitive zones and Maoist-affected areas of A.P.-Odisha border. Mr. Hari Jawaharlal warned that stern action would be initiated against employees who failed to attend election duty.

As many as 611 candidates contested for sarpanch posts and 2,716 persons tested their fortunes for the ward members’ posts. The TDP, which won Itchapuram Assembly constituency in the 2019 Assembly elections, strived hard to win maximum number of panchayats in the segment. TDP-A.P. president Kinjarapu Atchannaidu, Srikakulam MP Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu personally monitored the elections to ensure victory for TDP-backed candidates.

TDP-AP president Kinjarapu Atchannaidu and Srikakulam MP Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu have been personally monitoring the elections to ensure a victory for TDP-backed candidates. Regarding Palasa, Minister for Fisheries and Horticulture Sidiri Appala Raju is pulling out all stops to ensure a victory for the party-backed candidate.

Mr. Appala Raju, who won from Palasa Assembly constituency in 2019 elections, has left no stone unturned to win maximum panchayats in Palasa where TDP is also equally poised despite being defeated in the last general elections. TDP State general secretary Gowthu Sirisha, who won in the 2014 elections, has toured extensively in the villages to improve the morale of TDP-backed candidates.

Former Minister and TDP Assembly in-charge of Rajam Kondru Muralimohan has conducted a series of meetings with TDP-backed candidates of Rajam, Santakaviti and Vangara mandals. Rajam MLA (YSRCP) Kambala Jogulu hoped to win more than 80% seats in Rajam Assembly constituency.

Srikakulam Collector J. Nivas and Superintendent of Police Amit Bardar expressed happiness over the completion of election process peacefully.

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