By Express News Service

GUNTUR: After 11 years, local body polls are being held in Guntur throwing up interesting possibilities. The term of the last elected council of the Guntur Municipal Corporation (GMC) expired in the year 2010 and since then the GMC is being headed by a Special Officer who is also the District Collector. The prolonged court cases over the merger of neighbouring villages had delayed the elections to the civic body.

However, due to court cases, elections will not be held in Tadepalli, Mangalagiri, Ponnur, Bapatla and Narsaraopeta municipalities. Elections will also be not held in the newly-formed Dachepalli and Gurazala municipalities as the process of delimitation of wards is underway. 

Villages such as Gorantla, Reddipalem, Budampadu, Etukuru, Adavitakkelapadu, Nallapadu, Chowdavaram and Pothur, which have been merged with the GMC recently, will go to polls on March 10.  Guntur district has one municipal corporation and 12 municipalities. The city has 57 divisions – 14 earmarked for unreserved candidates, 16 seats reserved for women, 19 seats reserved for BCs, seven seats reserved for SCs and one seat reserved for ST.

Guntur Municipality was upgraded into a municipal corporation in 1994. The first election was held in 1995. The previous council was headed by the Congress and the last Mayor was Rayapati Mohana Sai Krishna.

Many candidates have already started campaigning for civic polls. It may be mentioned that as many as 571 nominations have been filed in 57 divisions in the city. Of which, 557 nominations have been accepted. A total of 1,024 nominations were filed in seven municipalities — Tenali, Sattenapalli, Chilakaluripeta, Repalle, Macherla, Vinukonda and Piduguralla. Guntur East constituency has 2,35,598 voters — 1,14,811 men and 1,20,748 women. Guntur West constituency has 2,71,911 voters — 1,32,990 men and 1,38,870 women.

 Arrangements for urban local body elections
The district administration has appointed 87 returning officers (ROs), 87 additional ROs and 243 election officers. As many as 1,078 polling stations were set up in the district
A total of 10.74 lakh voters will exercise their franchise in the civic polls on March 10 and the results will be announced on March 14 

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