Andhra voters to vote four times in five weeks!

Hyderabad, March 10:

From rural and urban local bodies to assembly and parliament, voters in Andhra Pradesh will vote four times to elect their representatives in a span of five weeks.

The State Election Commission Monday announced that elections to panchayat raj institutions would be held on April 6.

Barring Hyderabad, voters in 22 districts will cast their votes for the Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTC) and Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTC).

The state commission last week issued notification for March 30 elections to municipalities and corporations.

The simultaneous elections to 294-member state assembly and 42 Lok Sabha seats are to be held on April 30 and May 7 as per the schedule announced by the Election Commission of India.

In Telangana, which is set to be born as 29th state in India on June 2, polling will take place on April 30 while Seemandhra or residuary state of Andhra Pradesh will go to polls on May 7.

The state has more than 6.24 crore voters. About one crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in urban local body polls.

The political parties in the state never had such a hectic time. Already grappling with the problems created by bifurcation of the state in both the regions, the parties are finding it tough to decide candidates for many elections at one time.

Even as they were coming to terms with the schedule announced for urban local body elections, the state election commission Monday declared that elections to rural local bodies would be held on April 6.

State election commissioner P. Ramakanth Reddy said counting of votes would be taken up on April 8 and the results would be announced the same day.

The commission announced the schedule two days after the Supreme Court directed it to hold the polls without any delay. The apex court had warned the poll panel that if notification is not released in two days, it can be treated as contempt of court.

Ramakanth Reddy said the polls could not be held on time as the previous government did not prepare the reservation quota for various sections.

Last week, the commission had announced elections for urban local bodies on the direction of the high court. The court Feb 3 had threatened to take action against the chief secretary if polls were not held in four weeks.

The results for the 146 municipalities and 10 municipal corporations are scheduled to be announced on April 2 but the political parties have urged the commission not to declare the results of both urban and rural local bodies till the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.


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