Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh is going for the third phase of gram panchayat polls to elect 2,640 sarpanches and 19,607 ward members on Wednesday. The polling would be held from 6.30am to 3.30 pm.
The State Election Commission had notified plans to conduct polls in all 13 districts covering 160 mandals in phase-3. Out of the notified 3,221 positions of sarpanches, 579 were elected unanimously and the polling is to be held for 2,640 slots, with 7,756 contestants in the fray.
Similarly, out of the 31,516 positions of ward members notified in the 13 districts covering 160 mandals, 11,732 were elected unanimously and the polling would be held for 19,607 slots, for which there are 43,282 contestants.
Polling to be held district-wise will cover the following areas: Srikakulam-two revenue divisions-Srikakulam and Palakonda with nine mandals; Vizianagaram-Vizianagaram mandal with 19 mandals; Visakhapatnam-Paderu with 11 mandals; East Godavari-Rampachodavaram and Yetapaka with 11 agency mandals; West Godavari-Jangareddygudem and Kukkunuru with eight agency mandals; Krishna-Machilipatnam with 12 mandals; Guntur-Gurazala with nine mandals; Prakasam-Kandukur with 19 mandals; Nellore-Gudur and Naidupet with 15 mandals; Kurnool-Adoni and Kurnool with 14 mandals; Anantapur-Anantapur with 19 mandals; Kadapa-Rajampeta and Kadapa with 11 mandals and Chittoor-Mandanapalle with 14 mandals.
Polling hours will be restricted in Maoist infected agency areas from 6.30am to 1.30pm due to security reasons.
Once the polling is completed, counting of votes will begin at 4pm and the results will be out by late at night.
As the two previous phases of gram panchayat polls witnessed nearly 82 per cent of polling, with the turnout of large numbers of voters, the authorities are making elaborate arrangements for polling on Wednesday.
The police has made security arrangements at polling stations and a huge posse of police personnel was deployed at each of the hyper sensitive and sensitive polling stations.
The authorities are complying with the Covid-19 protocol to screen the voters for temperature and ensure that they wear face mask and sanitize their hands before entering the polling station. Voters infected with coronavirus are to be given PPE kits to wear when they enter the polling station to cast their vote an hour before the completion of the polling.
The authorities would closely monitor the polling from the command and control centre set up at the office of the commissioner of panchayat raj and rural development.