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BJP, Janasena denounce Andhra govt's call for unanimous polls
Amaravati, Jan 27 - Even as the Andhra Pradesh government is encouraging unanimous elections declaring financial incentives up to Rs 20 lakh for gram panchayats, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its local ally Janasena denounced the move on Wednesday.
"Unanimous elections are a ploy by the government to scare people, to bring pressure on candidates who want to contest. Using the local administration to make people withdraw from elections, it is a conspiracy to make elections unanimous," alleged Janasena leader Nadendla Manohar.
Manohar said as a political party, the Janasena has a responsibility in the matter and called for nominations across the state.
"But the government is encouraging unanimous polls. It is surprising that the government is encouraging unanimous polls with press conferences and wide publicity," he observed.
He demanded that the State Election Commission on behalf of the BJP and the Janasena take suo motu cognizance of the issue and look into it, calling for elections to take place in all villages and panchayats, to negate unanimous polls.
Manohar said both the parties have taken an appointment with Governor Bisaw Bhusan Harichandan on Friday to make a representation.
"Elections should happen in a free and transparent environment. Democracy should be upheld. Administration should also work to uphold democracy," he said.
On Tuesday, the Andhra Pradesh government announced 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 development work.
Unanimous elections in gram panchayats (GPs) with a population less than 2,000 will receive a financial incentive of Rs 5 lakh while 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 elections.
Those GPs with a population above 10,000 will receive Rs 20 lakh.
Manohar, an aide of actor-politician Pawan Kalyan, who founded the Janasena just before the general elections in 2014, said the alliance partners, BJP and Janasena, will encourage the youth to contest elections across the state.
"This opportunity will encourage youth to move forward in public life, which Pawan Kalyan also called for. Both the BJP and the Janasena decided to contest at all places in the panchayat elections," he added.
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