Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar said only 16 percent of Sarpanches have been elected unanimously in the recently concluded Gram Panchayat polls.

Nimmagadda said that the elections were held to 13,097 Sarpanch seats. Of which 2,197 Sarpanch seats (16.77%) have witnessed unanimous elections. Elections were held to 1, 31,023 Wards. Around 47,459 (36.22%) Wards have witnessed unanimous elections.

In 2013 polls, 1,980 (15.54%) out of 12,740 Sarpanches were elected unanimously. Similarly, 44,448 (34.37%) out of 1,29,316 Ward Members were elected unanimously in 2013.

The Constitution's 73rd and 74th Amendments have vested the Panchayats with both funds and functions. The elections will provide these bodies with the necessary leadership and give new vitality and a sense of direction to these bodies.

The elections have paved the way for the release of funds through the Finance Commission, which is a prerequisite. The overall polling percentage in the polls was recorded at 81.78 percent.

Gram Panchayat elections could be held due to the dedication and commitment of Government servants at large and the Police force who had extended comprehensive security cover.

The remarkable feature of the elections is the enthusiasm of the voters. The elections also stand out for being entirely violence-free. Barring a few stray incidents, the elections have been extremely peaceful and the Commission would like to thank all the political parties and stakeholders for extending their cooperation.

On the other side, the leaders of the YSRC Party said that candidates supported by YSRCP swept the Panchayat polls. They said the people have voted for YSRCP in 2019 with a 'hope' as they were fed up with Naidu.

Elections were held to 13,097 Panchayats in four phases. Candidates supported by YSRCP won around 10,340 Panchayats, while those supported by TDP won 2057 Panchayats. The remaining seats were won by BJP, Jana Sena, and others.

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