Telangana gears up for local body elections

Hyderabad: The Telangana State Election Commission Friday held a meeting with the general observers and expenditure observers for the gram panchayat elections to be held this month.

State election commissioner V Nagi Reddy told the officials to take steps to monitor the the expenditure of candidates and for any violation of model code of conduct.

He gave various directives to the officials on the conduct of the polls, an official press release said. Reddy told reporters that no new scheme that concerned rural areas be announced by the state government.

A separate meeting on the conduct of gram panchayat polls was held, the release said. Attended by chief secretary S K Joshi and DGP Mahender Reddy, among others, the meeting discussed law and order situation, transport arrangements and appointment of polling personnel, it said. The gram panchayat elections would be held in three phases beginning 7 January.

The state election commission released the schedule for the elections on Tuesday. The first phase begins on 7 January and ends on 21 January; the second phase from 11-25 January; and the third phase from 11-30 January.

The election commissioner had urged the voters in 12,732 gram panchayats and 1.13 lakh wards to exercise their franchise. The number of eligible voters is 1.49 crore. Polling would be held from 7 am to 1 pm. Counting of votes is taken up after the conclusion of polling.