Andhra panchayat polls in end-July

The elections were delayed for two years due to legal battle over reservation issues

By M Suchitra
Published: Thursday 04 July 2013

On July 3, the State Election Commission of Andhra Pradesh issued a notification for holding elections to gram panchayats. The elections, which are being held after a gap of two years, will be held in three phases on July 23, 27 and 31.

Of the 21,592 gram panchayats in the state, 21,491 will go to polls and around 39 million (39,401,855) voters will exercise their franchise. Elections are to be conducted in 217,578 wards in the panchayats. Elections will not be held in 101 panchayats in certain districts such as Ranga Reddy and districts proposed to be merged with municipalities, and some others which are involved in litigation. In the first phase, 6,963 panchayats will go to polls on July 23, 7,738 in the second phase on July 27 and 6,890 on July 31.

Quick facts
No. of revenue divisions   83
No. of gram panchayats   21,491
No. of wards   2,17,578

Three phase polls

Phase 1   23.07.2013
Phase II   27.07.2013
PhaseIII   31.07.2013

Voting strength

Men   1,96,49,114
Women   1,97,52,741
The state election commissioner P Ramakanth Reddy said in a press conference held in Hyderabad yesterday that the district-wise election notices would be issued by the respective district collectors and returning officers on July 9.

The election code of conduct has come into force with immediate effect. Consequently, ministers’ tours in areas where elections are scheduled would be deemed an election tour. As for election expenditure, a candidate aspiring to be a sarpanch can spend Rs 80,000 on elections if the panchayat has a population of more than 10,000. If the population is less than 10,000, the candidate’s expenditure should not exceed Rs 40,000. Likewise the ward member’s election expenditure should not exceed Rs 10,000 and Rs 6,000 respectively.

Elections to local bodies in Andhra Pradesh had been delayed for two years due to a legal battle over the issue of reservation for communities belonging to the Backward Class category. The Supreme Court in February this year gave a go-ahead to the state government to hold elections as per the existing reservation quotas.

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