Telangana gears up for elections to Zilla Parishads, schedule announced
Even as the people of Telangana are awaiting the results of the elections to 17 Lok Sabha seats held on April 11, the stage is set for yet another electoral battle in the state – for Zilla Parishads and Mandal (block) Parishads.
The Telangana State Election Commission on Saturday announced the schedule for the elections to 583 Zilla Parishad members and 5,817 Mandal Parishad members in three phases – from May 6 to May 14.
Officially, their constituencies are called as Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTC) and Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTC). The ZPTCs will, in turn, elect 32 Zilla Parishad chairpersons, while the MPTCs will elect the Mandal Parishad presidents from among the elected members.
State Election Commissioner V Nagi Reddy said the notification for the first phase of elections for 212 ZPTCs and 2,365 MPTCs would be issued on April 22, commencing the nomination process and the polling will be held on May 6.
The notification for the second phase, covering 199 ZPTCs and 2,109 MPTCs, will be issued on April 26 and polling would be held on May 10 and the notification for the third and final phase for elections to 124 ZPTCs and 1,343 MPTCs will be issued on April 30 with May 14 as polling day. The counting of votes for all the three phases will be held on May 27.
As many as 1.56 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise through ballot papers in 32,007 polling stations spread across the State.
The polling stations would be set up in 13,651 locations while the authorities have decided to set up 510 distribution centres and 129 counting centres to facilitate smooth conduct of the polls.
Since the elections are fought on party symbols, they have become prestigious for all the three main political parties – Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The TRS, which won the assembly elections with a massive mandate – bagging 88 out of 119 seats in the December 7 elections, is hopeful of continuing the winning streak in the rural areas by winning maximum number of Zilla Parishads and Mandal Parishads.
The party has already proved its supremacy in the rural hinterland of Telangana in recently held gram panchayat elections by winning more than 9,000 out of 12,680 sarpanch posts. Though the gram panchayat elections were held on non-party basis, the candidates openly flaunted their party affiliation during the campaign.
On the other hand, the Congress is desperate to regain its lost glory by winning a considerable number of MPTC and ZPTC seats.