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Khammam warms up for gram panchayat polls

Khammam warms up for gram panchayat polls
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All arrangements are being made for the smooth conduct of gram panchayat elections in the district as the State is all set to go for elections to...

Khammam: All arrangements are being made for the smooth conduct of gram panchayat elections in the district as the State is all set to go for elections to rural local bodies soon. Sensitive areas have been identified in the district and the identification of Backward Classes are going on.

According to District Panchayat Officer K Srinivas Reddy, 167 new gram panchayats have been formed, thus increasing the number of panchayats from the earlier 427 to a total of 584, following the directions laid down by the new Panchayat Raj Act.

There are 5,338 wards in the district and each ward is considered as onepollingstation. The elections are going tobe held in three phrases. Srinivas Reddy said a total budget of Rs 5.30 crore had been earmarked for conducting the elections in the district.

He said 4000ballot boxes were ready and by mid-June, ballot papers would be printed. The ballot boxes were brought from Karnataka, he said, adding that the Election Commission had decided to conduct the elections in three phases. Security arrangements had also been made to prevent any untoward incident during the elections, he said and added that additional forces would be deployed wherever necessary.

Highest number of voters in the district is at the 18th ward at Kalluru. The list of problematic polling booths would be prepared by Friday, Srinivas Reddy said. District Collector Lokesh Kumar would approve the list and take necessary action in this regard on Saturday.

Gram Sabhas had been completed by Wednesday, he added. If everything falls in place, the State government will conduct the elections to gram panchayats in July. Regarding reservations, Srinivas Reddy said every step was taken to ensure foolproof assessment.

As per the directions of the Election Commission, persons with criminal history, misbehavior, rigging and any other anti-social activities would be taken into preventive custody, he said. All the candidates have to submit the details of their election expenditure, source of expenditure to the panchayat. Polling will be held between 7 am and 1 pm.

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