Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], January 27 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Government Advisor (Public Affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy on Tuesday appealed to all stakeholders in the upcoming gram panchayat polls to strive for unanimous elections to avoid friction and expenditure and make use of the incentives announced by the state government.
"Elders must sit together and sort out the issues as polls are being held on non-party basis," he told media, adding that the recently amended legislation has a provision for disqualification and jail term for any irregularities.
"On the positive side, incentives can be availed for unanimous elections though vested interests are planning otherwise. Putting aside Parishat elections and taking up only gram panchayat polls is beyond comprehension raising doubts," he said.
"Those taking part in these elections should only focus on the development of their village, leaving party and politics behind. The state government has brought many fundamental changes in the villages, taking the administration to the doorstep through village secretariat and volunteer system," he added.
Reddy said that a conspiracy to incite hatred is going on in the villages by the opposition leaders and advised the contestants not to fall in their trap.
Reddy warned that anyone proved guilty of conspiracy and violence would be disqualified under the law brought by the government.
"Those found enticing in the election could face up to two years in prison and will be disqualified for six years," he said.
He explained that there should be more unanimous elections, as the government has enhanced the incentives to villages ranging from Rs 5-20 lakh, based on the population.
The government advisor said that there would be room for parties and perseverance in the gram panchayat elections and everyone should try for unanimous election instead of provoking people and encouraging groups.
Sajjala further said that leaving the Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency (MPTC) and Zilla Praja Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC) polls in the middle and bringing up gram panchayat elections is strange.
"The State Election Commissioner (SEC), who accepted the unanimous elections last March, has now taken a turn saying that they will have to take a look at it," he said.
He added: "Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has made changes in the law to make local elections more transparent and initiated radical and positive changes in the state."
The dates for the new fourth phase elections will be as follows: date of issue of notice is February 10, last day for nominations is February 12, scrutiny of nominations will take place on February 13, and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is February 16.
Counting of votes and declaration of results will also be on February 21.
The (now) first, second and third phases will take place on February 19, February 13 and February 17. (ANI)