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60.9% turnout for parishad polls despite TDP boycott

Vijayawada: Over 60.91 per cent polling was reported in the elections to mandal and zilla parishad territorial constituencies in the State on Thursday. Stray incidents of clashes were reported, but overall the polling went off smoothly.

Though the counting of votes was scheduled to be held on April 10, the AP High Court stayed it until further orders. The court will hear the issue on April 15.

West Godavari district stood top with 68.27% polling followed by Vizianagaram (67.13%), Visakhapatnam (65.25%), Krishna (63.99%), Kadapa (63.59%) and East Godavari (63.07%). Prakasam district stood at the bottom with 51.68% polling.Uncertainty over the conduct of elections till a day before the elections and TDP’s decision to boycott the polls led to the dip in polling percentage.

Elections were held in 27,751 polling stations on Thursday.Out of the total 660 ZPTCs, elections were conducted for 515 ZPTCs for which 2,058 candidates are in the fray. While 126 ZPTCs were elected unanimously, elections were withheld in eight constituencies. Since March, 2020, 11 candidates for ZPTC elections have died.

Out of 10,047 MPTCs, elections were withheld in 375. In the remaining 9,672 MPTCs, 2,371 were elected unanimously and 81 candidates have died since March, 2020. Therefore, elections were held for 7,220 MPTCs.Though TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu announced a boycott of the elections, candidates of the party remained in the fray as they could not withdraw the nominations.

Though a section of the candidates did not take up any campaign, some of them took the election seriously and made an all-out effort to win the polls.

A polling official died of heart attack while on duty in Guntur district. The Jana Sena party symbol was found missing in the ballot paper in Amalapuram Rural, resulting in the suspension of polling.

In a polling station in Nellore, a BJP worker allegedly snatched the ballot box and dipped it in water, forcing the officials to cancel the polling. A re-poll will be held on Friday.