First phase of AP panchayat elections sees 81.42 per cent voter turnout

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(Eds: updating with final voter percentage turnout) Amaravati, Feb 9 (PTI): The first phase of polling for 2,723 panchayats in Andhra Pradesh ended peacefully with 81.42 per cent turnout, the State Election Commission said here on Tuesday.

The SEC, however, did not provide the total number of eligible voters.

'The State Election Commission expresses its satisfaction on completion of Phase-I elections to Gram Panchayats in the State,' it said.

Polling began at 6.30 AM and ended 3.30 PM, while counting of votes began at 4 PM, officials said.

Polling was also held to elect 20,157 ward members.

With the completion of the first phase, the polls will be conducted till February 21 in another three phases.

The SEC hoped that the same trends would continue in the subsequent phases.

According to the Panchayat Raj department, elections were to be held for 3,249 posts of panchayat sarpanchs.

However since 525 were unanimously elected and no nomination was filed for a village in Nellore district, polls were held for 2,723 panchayats.

As many as 7,506 candidates contested for sarpanch posts and 43,601 were in the fray for ward members.

The elections were held using ballot paper and without any political party symbols.

A total of 29,732 polling stations were set up, of which 3,458 were identified as sensitive and 3,594 hypersensitive, the department said.

All necessary precautions were taken as per COVID-19 protocol amid tight security and PPE kits were provided to voters infected by the virus, it added. PTI GDK APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR