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Decision soon on panchayat polls in flood-affected districts

Published: 20th July 2013 08:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th July 2013 08:03 AM   |  A+A-

The State Election Commission is likely to take a final call soon on holding elections to the rain-affected village panchayats in the state and has asked for ‘situation reports’ from the district collectors.

‘’We have sought collectors’ assessment of the situation in their respective districts. We expect the reports by Saturday morning and, after studying them, we will decide on what needs to be done,’’ SEC chairman P Ramakanth Reddy said here on Friday.

The SEC will take into consideration as to how many villages have the situation where voters can not exercise their franchise, how many villages are there where polling personnel cannot enter with ballot boxes and other polling material.

‘’We do not want to create confusion among the people or the contesting candidates. If and when the situation warrants it, we will take an appropriate decision. The situation is being closely monitored,’’ SEC secretary Naveen Mittal said.

Continuous torrential rains in the past few days and flash floods to Godavari river and its tributaries have cut off several villages with the rest of the world in north Telangana districts of Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam along with some villages in the East and West Godavari districts. Of the 21,441 sarpanch posts, 2,642 were declared elected unanimous. There were no nominations for 78 sarpanch posts for various reasons. Which means that in the three phases of elections to be held on July 23, 27 and 31, elections will be held for 18,721 sarpanch posts. A total number of 57,858 candidates will be contesting those posts _ a village will have three contestants on an average.

In the case of village wards, 59,955 of 2,16,988 members have been elected unanimously. There were no nominations filed for 1,091 wards. For the remaining 1,55,942, 3,67,197 candidates are in the fray.

OFFICIALS SUSPENDED: The State Election Commission has received several complaints of violation of model code of conduct. After a thorough enquiry, action will be taken against the accused. ‘’We have received complaints against some returning officers. After conducting an inquiry, the returning officer of Singabupalam village in Kothagudem mandal in Khammam district has been suspended. She included the candidature of a candidate in the final list though his nomination had been rejected after scrutiny. Apart from disciplinary action against the returning officer P Vasantha Kumari, an assistant engineer working in RWS department, a criminal case will be registered against her and the candidate,’’ Mittal said.

In another case of violation, Challa Venkateswara Reddy,a superintend in the office of chief engineer’s office of minor irrigation department, was suspended. He participated in a political party’s meeting at Chebrole in Guntur district. A Genco deputy executive engineer, G Suryanarayana Reddy, from Guntur was also suspended following his participation in a politcal party’s meeting at Bijine Vemula village in Koilakunta mandal in Kurnool district.

The SEC secretary said 89,134 bind-over cases were booked to keep  trouble-mongers out. After 5 pm on July 21, when campaigning ends, all  outsiders have to leave villages. On elections in villages where no nominations were filled for the sarpanch and ward member posts, a fresh election notification will be issued later.

MUNICIPAL POLLS: In regard to municipal elections, he said that with commissioners of 17 municipal corporations and 154 councils informing the SEC that ward delimitation in the respective civic bodies having been completed, they were asked to publish the voter list on July 25. 

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