Barring a couple of stray incidents, polling is in progress peacefully in 6971 gram panchayats under 29 revenue divisions in 22 districts, sources in the State Election Commission said. Villagers of Laxmapur and Marepalli in Nizamabad district boycotted the election demanding special gram panchayat status for their villages, while at Medikonduru ST Colony people did not come to vote demanding redressal of grievances.
Tension prevailed in Dommalapadu village in Guntur district before the polling process began at 7 AM as Congress and Telugu Desam Party supporters hurled stones at each other. Special police teams rushed to the village to quell the mob and thereafter the polling process continued unhindered, officials said.
At Bhimavaram village in Guntur district, a minor clash broke out as a polling agent allegedly insisted on voters to show him the ballot while casting their vote. Police had to resort to a lathicharge to disperse the clashing villagers.
In Kurnool district, Banaganapalli Congress MLA Katasani Rami Reddy and former MLA Challa Ramakrishna Reddy were placed under house arrest as a precautionary measure to prevent faction fights.
TDP leader Janardhan Reddy was also detained at his house. Villagers sat on a protest at Dukkada in Vizianagaram district after police lathicharged voters who stood in a group at a polling booth. Higher officials intervened and pacified the irate villagers.
Four YSR Congress activists were arrested while they were distributing cash to voters at Koyyalagudem in West Godavari district. Special security arrangements have been made in Prakasam and Kadapa districts where police anticipated some trouble. Polling will conclude at 1 PM and counting of votes will begin at 2 PM.
The third phase of election will be held on July 31.