Hyderabad, April 6:
Over 70 percent voting was recorded Sunday in the first phase of rural local body elections in Andhra Pradesh. Barring minor incidents, the polling across the state was peaceful, poll officials said.
Polling ended at 5 p.m. for 557 Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTCs) and 8,250 Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTCs) across the state.
Enthusiasm among first-time voters and women was marked as the elections were held after a gap of seven years.
State Election Commissioner P. Ramakanth Reddy said the polling was peaceful barring minor incidents. He said the voter turnout at few places was about 80 percent.
The polling was held amid tight security at sensitive places. He reviewed the polling process, webcast live from many polling centres.
Long queues of voters were seen in the morning hours at majority of the 26,742 polling centres across 534 mandals in 22 districts.
According to the Election Commission, 4.13 crore voters are eligible to cast their votes in the panchayat elections. Half of them were covered under the first phase.
Over 95,000 police personnel, besides State Special Police and 20 companies of central paramilitary forces, are deployed to ensure peaceful polling.
The second phase of the elections to rural local bodies will be held April 11.
The state has a total of 1,096 ZPTCs and 16,589 MPTCs and the elections to these bodies are being held at the direction of the Supreme Court.
The rural body elections were being held a week after the polling to urban local bodies.
The elections to 146 municipalities and 10 municipal corporations were held last Sunday, on the direction of the state high court.
The results for both the urban and rural local body elections were scheduled to be announced this week but the Supreme Court has directed the state election commission not to declare the results before May 7 as this could impact the general elections.
The assembly and Lok Sabha election are scheduled to be held simultaneously in Andhra Pradesh in two phases April 30 and May 7. ( IANS)