Seen as a test run for the first state elections to take place next year, but of great importance to the fledgling state, Telengana will carry out Panchayat elections across 12,734 out of a total 12,751 gram panchayats in July, 2018. This coincides with the 31st July ending of terms of the current rural elected representatives. It is rumoured that Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) leader and Chief Minister, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, is keen on carrying out these elections in a proper manner, and is also said to be sure of his victory.
Earlier, there was speculation that members of the TRS were not keen on holding this round of local elections. Although no direct statements were made or recorded, it appeared that there was a sense of apprehension regarding the overall costs associated with this exercise, and that potential opposition to them had arisen from fear of not having the necessary funds to carry out the state and general elections in 2019. Such hearsay was thrown out by Panchayat Raj Minister, Jupally Krishna Rao, who made the announcement on Thursday.
At the press conference where he announced the upcoming panchayat elections, Rao said, “The work to conduct the elections in a transparent manner has been taken up in the last few months. Following the elections, training will be given to the elected representatives to create awareness about the new Panchayat Raj Act.” He went on to provide details about seats to be reserved in the following allotments of 34% for backward classes, 20% for scheduled castes, and 6% for scheduled tribes.
In addition to the gram panchayats, a total of 113,190 out of a total 113,354 wards will also participate in the upcoming polls.