The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday announced attractive financial incentives up to Rs 20 lakh in the forthcoming panchayat polls to encourage unanimous elections and thereby enable the gram panchayats to concentrate on the developmental work.
“The government with a view to encourage unanimous elections to the post of sarpanches and members of gram panchayats issued incentive awards for such the gram panchayats (GPs) where the elections to the office of the sarpanches and ward members is unanimous,” said chief secretary Aditya Nath Das.
Unanimous elections in gram panchayats with population less than 2,000 will receive a financial incentive of Rs 5 lakh, GPs with a population between 2,001 to 5,000 will receive Rs 10 lakh.
Likewise, GPs with a population between 5,001 to 10,000 will receive an incentive of Rs 15 lakh for unanimous election.
Those GPs with a population above 10,000 will receive Rs 20 lakh.
Incidentally, a government order highlighting incentives for peaceful unanimous elections did not go into the public as it was issued before the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, prompting its reissue on Tuesday.
“The commissioner, I & PR is directed to give wide publicity and create awareness among all the GPs in the districts about the incentive scheme for unanimously elected GPs as the elections are being conducted on a non-party basis to preserve the peace and harmony that exists in the villages,” said Das.
According to the chief secretary, a large number of states such as Gujarat, Harayana, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab continue to have elections to GPs on non-political party basis.
“If elections to gram panchayats are held on party basis, there is a possibility that political rivalry, enmity and intense animosity may grow among competing parties, thereby hampering harmony and speedy development,” he noted.
State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar has scheduled a four phase rural local bodies elections in the southern state.