Amaravati: Polls for the zilla and mandal parishad constituencies were held peacefully across the state on Thursday. However, the contesting candidates and their supporters will have to wait for more than a week for the results after the Andhra Pradesh high court had stopped counting the votes.
The Supreme Court will hear the case on April 15, and the counting of votes will depend on the court’s final decision.
Meanwhile, the State Election Commission (SEC) held voting for 515 zilla parishad territorial constituencies (ZPTC) and 7,220 parish mandal territorial constituencies (MPTC) on Thursday after the high court gave the green signal.
With the main opposition party, the TDP, boycotting the election, the contest seemed one-sided which resulted in relatively low turnout across the state. Some areas reported about 50 percent of the surveys while some segments reported about 60 percent of the surveys.
Interestingly, about 80 percent of the turnout was recorded in recent polls conducted in the villages of panchayats villages and municipal bodies. Although the ruling YSRC made a clean sweep of both the panchayats and the urban civilian bodies, the presence of TDP candidates had made the competition fierce and slow until the announcement of the results.
Disappointed with the decision of the party supreme Chandrababu Naidus, TDP leaders at the field level continued the race in several mandalas in several districts that led to minor clashes between rival groups. Police managed to bring the situation under control by conserving both warring groups.
Jana Sena activists confronted YSRC activists in the village of Kunkalakunta of the Nakirekallu mandal in the Sattenapalle constituency. Jana Sena activists organized dharna demanding free and fair elections in the village.
In the village of Kolakaluru in the Vemuru assembly constituency, YSRC activists claimed that an independent candidate and his supporters continued to campaign at the polling station despite their objections.
The North Coast districts performed better in terms of turnout when compared to other districts as nearly 50 per cent of the polls were recorded in all three districts by 15:00. While Vizianagaram reported 67.13 per cent turnout, Visakhapatnam recorded 62.25 per cent and Srikakulam 58.37 per cent by the end of the polls.
Turnout by 3pm was very low in the Guntur and Prakasam areas, at around 37% and 34% respectively, but rose to 57.25% and 51.68% respectively by the end of the survey. West Godavari reported the highest turnout of 68.27%, East Godavari recorded 63.07% and Krishna 63.99%.
The state average was 60.78%. The survey was completed by 2 a.m. in Maoist-affected areas in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, East Godavari and West Godavari regions.
A section of Keelambakam residents of the Nindra mandala in Chittoor district boycotted polls in support of the TDP. At least two people were injured in a small clash in the village of Chinna Lanka of the Burja mandala in the Srikakulam district. Tension prevailed in Garapadu village of Mandak Pedakurapadu in Guntur district after a clash between YSRC and TDP activists.
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