Guntur: Tension prevailed in Macherla assembly constituency on Monday as the deadline for filing nomination papers for the gram panchayat elections ended.
In many villages, only one nomination was received for sarpanch and ward member posts at the close of deadline. While 30% of the panchayats turned unanimous, in several other places as the deadline ended for withdrawal of nominations, Macherla reported nearly 50% unanimous nominations.
Local legislator and government whip Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy who has won the seat for the last four terms has extended his consolidation over the constituency by encouraging locals to patch up their differences and opt for unanimous elections.
According to sources, only 20 nominations were filed for 15 sarpanch posts in Karampudi mandal and a few are expected to withdraw from the race in the next two days thus paving the way for unanimous election. Similarly, only 24 nominations were filed for 20 village sarpanch posts in Veldurthi mandal. An almost identical situation prevailed in Durgi, Rentachintala and Macherla rural mandals.
After seeing the poor response from the cadre, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu sought the State Election Commission (SEC) to provide protection for party supporters to file papers in Macherla.
Former Gurazala legislator Yarapathineni Srinivasa Rao has urged the SEC to suspend elections in Macherla and Gurazala in Guntur and Punganur constituency in Chittoor, alleging officials have violated the election code.