The State Election Commission on Saturday issued the notification for conduct of elections to gram panchayats in Andhra Pradesh, the first phase of which will be held here in February 5.
In the first phase, gram panchayats under 146 revenue mandals in 11 districts will go to polls, according to the notification issued by State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar. The SEC called the gram panchayat elections 'historic', given the circumstances under which they were being held. "People are very enthusiastic to take part in the election process. It is of course, a major challenge for the commission to conduct the polls against the odds," Ramesh Kumar remarked.
Panchayat elections are not being held in the first phase in Vizianagaram and Prakasam districts. The elections will be held on apolitical basis. Addressing a press conference, the SEC said it was the responsibility of the state government to ensure that the elections were conducted in a smooth manner. "Ultimately the government will have to face the consequences if anything doesn't go well," he observed. Kumar said he had apprised the Governor of the prevailing situation.
"I will continue to keep reporting to the Governor on the poll process. If required, I will submit a report to the Supreme Court as well," he said, referring to defiant stance being adopted by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government over the elections under Kumar's helm.