New Delhi: The first phase of the gram panchayat elections in Andhra Pradesh began on Tuesday (February 9). The polls are being held for 2,723 village panchayats across 12 districts of the state.
While 7.506 candidates are contesting for the Sarpanch posts, 43,601 candidates are in the fray for 20,157 ward members positions.
The voting in the first phase began at 6.30 am and is expected to conclude at 3:30 pm, after which the counting of votes will start at 4 pm. The elections will be conducted in four phases till February 21.
Out of the total 3,249 panchayat sarpanch posts, 525 candidates were elected unopposed, while no nomination was made for one village in the Nellore district, according to a statement by the Panchayat Raj department.
Elaborate arrangements have been made by the Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission (SEC) to conduct the polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 29,732 polling stations have been set up for the purpose, out of which 3,458 have been termed sensitive and 3,594 as being hypersensitive.
Till 10:30 am, East Godavari district recorded 29 per cent polling, while Chittoor division saw a turnout of 38.97 per cent.