HYDERABAD: Nearly two months after returning to power with a thumping majority in the assembly elections, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has swept the gram panchayat polls by bagging 60 per cent of the panchayats. Of the 12,750 gram panchayats, candidates supported by the ruling party won in over 7,600 panchayats while the Congress backed candidates won in about 2,700 panchayats.

The elections for the local bodies were held in three phases and the final phase of polling was held for 3,506 panchayats on Wednesday. In all the phases, about 2,000 candidates were elected unanimously. The state election commission (SEC) declared that 88 per cent turnout was recorded in the third phase of polling and the highest polling (above 90 per cent) was registered in districts like Yadadri-Bhongir (94%), Khammam (94%), Suryapet (92%), Nalgonda (92%), Mahbubabad (91%) while it was 90 per cent each in Sangareddy and Siddipet districts. With the conclusion of the elections, the panchayat raj department issued a notification fixing February 2 as the appointed day for holding the first meeting of the panchayats and also the swearing-in of sarpanches.

Though the elections were held on a non-party basis, all the major political parties took active part as the sarpanch candidates will help the party candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

TRS supported candidates won seats in Sangareddy, Medak, Warangal Rural, Mahabubnagar, Nizamabad, Nalgonda and Khammam districts. Majority of the seats were won by Congress candidates in Ranga Reddy, Kamareddy, Khammam and Bhoopalapally districts.

In the local body elections, BJP candidates won in 160 panchayats, while CPI, CPI(M) and TDP won less than 100 each. Independent candidates won in about 1,700 gram panchayats.

Sources in TRS said the party is happy with the performance of its leaders in gram panchayats. The MLAs have been given a free hand to choose the sarpanch and ward members of their respective assembly constituencies. While giving a chance to important leaders to contest the elections, at some places, the party backed neutral candidates who could also help the party in the coming elections.

Meanwhile, the SEC ordered repolling in Tirumalapur gram panchayat of Pudur mandal in Vikarabad district. According to SEC secretary M Ashok Kumar, in Ward No 7, a woman, Kamli Bai, with different IDs was allowed to cast her vote and the agents failed to realise this. Later, when the real Kamli Bai arrived at the polling station to cast her vote, she found that her vote had already been cast by another person. “The presiding officer issued her a tender vote. At the polling station, of 164 votes, 139 votes were polled. As there was a case of impersonation, repolling was ordered for ward member and sarpanch in the ward on February 1,” the secretary said.

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